Committee constituted to prevent discrimination against SC, ST students in universities, UGC ready to change its rules
Officials said the move comes after the Supreme Court last month termed the death of students from underprivileged communities in higher educational institutions as a sensitive issue requiring out-of-the-box thinking. The commission issued rules in 2012 to promote equality in higher educational institutions. There is a provision in these rules not to discriminate against any student.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) is set to change its rules regarding students belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), and minority communities studying in higher educational institutions and has set up an expert committee. The committee will suggest steps to prevent discrimination against these students.
Officials said the move comes after the Supreme Court last month termed the death of students from underprivileged communities in higher educational institutions as a sensitive issue that required out-of-the-box thinking. The commission issued rules in 2012 to promote equality in higher educational institutions. These rules provide for non-discrimination against any student belonging to the SC and ST community in the matter of admission to all higher educational institutions.
It also has a provision to prevent harassment of any student in these institutions on the basis of caste, creed, religion, language, gender, or physical disability and to punish the people and authorities who do so. In April this year, the UGC made it mandatory to appoint SC, ST, OBC, and women representatives as chairpersons or members of student grievance redressal committees.
Cases of suicides by students belonging to SC and ST communities are raising concerns over alleged discrimination against these communities in higher educational institutions. A Supreme Court bench of Justice AS Bopanna and Justice MM Sundaresh sought details of the steps taken by the UGC on a petition filed by the mothers of Rohith Vemula and Payal Tadvi, who committed suicide due to caste-based discrimination in educational institutions.