University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked higher education institutions (HEIs) across India to prioritise mental health of students and balance the effects of academic pressure by incorporating sports, physical fitness and other extra-curricular activities in the curricula.
In a circular issued on its website, UGC asked education institutions to emphasise on addressing depression, career related stress and other mental health concerns in students. Promote positive and supportive network for students, the circular stated.
The guidelines promote a lively campus life for students, highlighting a good teaching-learning environment, judicious assessment systems, and fair and equitable treatment to all.
According to UGC, HEIs should encourage students to understand their inner callings and aspirations. It may come through opportunities related to academic and co-curricular activities.
“The various spaces for cultural activities should also be created for community services and building national spirit with a larger humanistic perspective,” the circular further read.
UGC has also introduced Students Services Centres (SSCs), which will be responsible for managing the problems related to stress and emotional adjustment. It will provide requisite support to students, especially from rural backgrounds, female students, students from divergent cultural backgrounds, and students with special needs. It will work as a single-window system to address relevant student issues.
The notice has also highlighted that each student admitted to an institution is charged a sports fee, but participation in sports activity or utilisation of sports facilities is done by only 1-2% of the total strength of the students.
It has suggested structured reform programmes or self-development programmes, which act as catalysts for inducing behavioural changes and inculcating human values. It has been stated that university administration should ensure proper and regular monitoring of students’ behaviour and adopt necessary preventive and pre-emptive measures to control deviant tendencies among the students.
In view of the greater demand than supply of mental health professionals, the UGC has suggested that HEIs start special courses to train mental health professionals as per UGC/All India Council for Technical Education/Medical Council of India provisions and guidelines.
For more details please visit: https://www.ugc.ac.in/pdfnews/9666273_Guidelines-for-students-health.pdf
Stakeholders may share their comments and suggestions with UGC at firstname.lastname@example.org.