UGC, AICTE initiate steps to curb caste based discrimination

Nearly 72 cases of caste based discrimination against Scheduled
Castes and Scheduled Tribes students were reported by University Grants
Commission (UGC) in various universities and colleges across the country
during 2017-18. Most of the cases are handled and disposed off by the
authorities of concerned Universities and Colleges, as empowered under
their respective Acts and Statutes under the Higher Education.

Apart
from UGC, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) reported
that no such complaints were received by them from AICTE approved
Institutions during the same period.
Union Minister for Human
Resource Development, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ in a written reply
in the Lok Sabha on July 8, informed that the Central Government as well
as UGC have issued several instructions from time to time to all State
Governments and Centrally Funded Education Institutions to curb
discrimination of any kind in higher educational institutions.
UGC
on June 26, 2019 advised all the Vice-Chancellor of all Universities to
constitute a committee to look into the discrimination complaints
received from the SC/ST/OBC Students/Teachers and non-teaching staff.
Besides, the other major initiatives undertaken in this regard are:-
(i)
In order to check discrimination and harassment of any section of
students and to strengthen the grievance redressal mechanism, the
University Grants Commission (Promotion of Equity in Higher Education
Institutions) Regulations, 2012 was implemented.
(ii) University
Grants Commission (Grievance Redressal) Regulations, 2012 has been
formulated. These Regulations intend to give effect in letter and spirit
to the provisions of the Constitution and other statutory provisions
and policies for prevention of discrimination on the grounds of caste
and to safeguards the interests of the students belonging to the
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The Regulations also seek to
provide for advancement of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students
through setting up of Equal Opportunity Cells in each Higher Educational
Institution.
(iii) In order to make the universities/colleges
more responsive to the needs and constraints of the disadvantaged social
groups, UGC is giving financial assistance to all eligible
Colleges/Universities to establish Equal Opportunity Centres. The aim
and objective of this Scheme is to oversee the effective implementation
of policies and programmes for disadvantaged groups, to provide guidance
and counselling with respect to academic, financial, social and other
matters and to enhance the diversity within the campus.