The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued a letter for the prevention of caste-based discrimination in higher education institutions. The commission has urged the heads of institutions to ensure that the officials and faculty members deal with caste discrimination more sensitively.
After several reports of caste-based discrimination have surfaced against students and faculty members in some of the leading institutions like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), the apex higher education regulator has urged the universities and colleges to prevent such incidents. UGC in its letter instructed the institutions to ensure that the officials and faculty members must avoid any act of discrimination against SC, ST students on grounds of their social origin.
The universities and colleges are asked to develop a page on their official website as well as arrange a complaint register in the registrar and principal office to lodge complaints of caste discrimination by victims.
The HEIs are also asked to take strict actions against the erring official and faculty members if any such incident comes to the notice of the authorities. The institution heads have been asked to ensure that no official or faculty members should indulge in any kind of discrimination against any community or category of students.
The universities are also instructed to constitute a committee to look into the discrimination complaints lodged by the SC, ST, OBC students and teachers and non-teaching staff.
The commission further requested the HEIs to provide information for the year 2020-21 in the prescribed format on the University Activity Monitoring Portal (UAMP) of UGC on an urgent basis.
The commission recently also instructed the HEIs to strengthen cyber security. In its letter dated, August 24, the apex higher education regulator has asked to organise awareness campaigns, regular competitions, hackathons, workshops on cyber security/ cyber-crimes on campuses to prepare students for unforeseen challenges of cyber-crimes.