Pune: UGC Urges Universities to Combat Caste Discrimination Ahead of New Academic Year

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Pune, 3rd June 2024: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has alerted all universities and affiliated colleges in the country to prevent caste discrimination before the start of the new academic year. An independent committee has been established at the university level to address complaints related to caste discrimination. This committee is suggested to include representatives from Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes (OBCs). Information on cases of discrimination from the last academic year has also been sought. UGC Secretary Prof. Manish Joshi released a circular in this regard.

The UGC has periodically issued instructions to higher educational institutions regarding the prevention of caste discrimination. New instructions have been given at the commencement of the academic year 2024-25. Faculty and staff are instructed not to take any action that discriminates against SC or ST students based on their social background. Universities, affiliated colleges, and institutes of higher education should create a page on their websites to register complaints regarding caste discrimination. Additionally, a register should be maintained. If discrimination is noticed, immediate action should be taken. Care should be taken to ensure that there is no discrimination of any kind against students of any community or caste. It has been emphasized that the issue of caste discrimination should be handled with utmost sensitivity.

Last year, the UGC also directed higher education institutions to submit information on incidents related to caste discrimination during the academic year 2023-24. It has asked for information on whether a committee has been appointed at the university level, whether a page has been created on the website for registering complaints, incidents that have occurred in the last year, whether there has been a suicide-like incident in the complaint, action taken after the case was filed, cases filed, and cases resolved. A deadline has been set for this information to be submitted by 31st July.