Measures for Inclusion in Higher Education for Equitable Society

In this article, you can read all about measures taken by the government to bridge the social gap by means of higher education in India. This is an important topic for the IAS exam, featuring in social issues, governance, education, society, etc.

Equal opportunity for all sections of society to participate in higher education system is a Constitutional mandate. Right to Education Act is paving way for inclusion at school level and at higher education level too initiatives for bridging rural-urban divide, gender equity and education of Minorities are being undertaken. In the year 2009-10 a number of initiatives were undertaken with a view to reducing regional and social imbalances in providing inclusive access.

Measures for Bridging Social Gap

Setting up of 374 Model Degree Colleges -The Central Government Has approved a scheme to assist State Governments to set up Model Degree Colleges in each of the 374 identified educationally backward districts where the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for higher education is less than the national GER. The Scheme caters to the needs of students in educationally backward districts and is designed for improving access, equity and inclusiveness. During the reporting year, 116 proposals were received from colleges through universities. Out of which, 37 proposals from 20 universities of eight states had been approved, 31 proposals had been rejected and in 48 cases, documents have been called for as per the guidelines of this scheme. A total grant of Rs.18.69 crores was released during 2010- 11 to the 37 approved colleges

Promoting Education of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Minorities

  • Establishment of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Cells in Universities – To safeguard the interest of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the most deprived groups of the Indian Society, the constitution provides reservation in various services under Central and State Governments. The main objective is not to just provide jobs to increase their representation in services but to improve their social and educational status so that they can have their rightful place in the main-stream of the society. As per the constitutional provisions, the reservation for Scheduled Castes is 15% and 7.5% for Scheduled Tribes at the national level and the reservation in states is provided depending on their population in the concerned state. Towards this, a SCT Cell had been set up in UGC and also a Standing Committee has been constituted for SC/ST to implementing and monitoring the Reservation Policy for them in Higher Education. Under the scheme, the assistance for staff positions is on cent percent basis for actual expenditure on staff salary during the first five years of establishment of SC/ST Cells or up to the end of the Plan period during which the cell is established. As on 31st March, 2011, as many as 128 SC/ST Cells were functioning in various universities. During 2010-11, no expenditure was incurred towards the establishment of SC/ST Cells.
  • Coaching Schemes for Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes/OBC (non-creamy layer)/Minorities -The Commission has been contributing towards social equity and socio academic mobility of the under privileged groups of the society through various special schemes. The well being and the development of these groups are important indicators of the strength and success of a democratic society. Towards this, the Commission has been providing financial assistance to the universities and colleges under the following schemes: (i) Remedial Coaching at UG & PG level (ii) Coaching for entry into services (iii) Coaching for NET During XI Plan, the Commission has decided to merge the above schemes with the General development assistance scheme for universities and colleges and the grant for this component will be over and above the ceiling of General Development assistance. Grant is being provided under the schemes by the UGC Regional Offices in the case of colleges and the Head Office for universities.

Reservation Policy for Other Backward Classes (OBCs)

As per the directions of the Government of India, the UGC has been striving for implementation of reservation policy for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in teaching, nonteaching and in admissions. Instructions have been issued to implement 27% reservation for OBCs in all the Grant in Aid institutions funded by the Central Government except minority Institutions under Article 3(1) of the Constitution of India. concerned state. Towards this, an SCT Cell had been set up in UGC and also a Standing Committee has been constituted for SC/ST to implementing and monitoring the Reservation Policy for them in Higher Education. Under the scheme, the assistance for staff positions is on cent percent basis for actual expenditure on staff salary during the first five years of establishment of SC/ST Cells or up to the end of the Plan period during which the cell is established. As on 31st March, 2011, as many as 128 SC/ST Cells were functioning in various universities. During 2010-11, no expenditure was incurred towards the establishment of SC/ST Cells. Coaching Schemes for Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes/OBC (non-creamy layer)/Minorities The Commission has been contributing towards social equity and socio academic mobility of the under privileged groups of the society through various special schemes. The well being and the development of these groups are important indicators of the strength and success of a democratic society. Towards this, the Commission has been providing financial assistance to the universities and colleges under the following schemes: (i) Remedial Coaching at UG & PG level (ii) Coaching for entry into services (iii) Coaching for NET During XI Plan, the Commission has decided to merge the above schemes with the General development assistance scheme for universities and colleges and the grant for this component will be over and above the ceiling of General Development assistance. Grant is being provided under the schemes by the UGC Regional Offices in the case of colleges and the Head Office for universities.

Establishment of Equal Opportunities Cells (EOCs)

To make colleges and universities more responsive to the needs and constraints of the disadvantaged social groups, the UGC has initiated a scheme viz. Establishment of Equal Opportunity Cell in Colleges and Universities to oversee the effective implementation of policies and programmes for disadvantaged groups and to provide guidance and counselling in academic, financial, social and other matters. The cell also takes up programmes of sensitizing university/college community on problems faced by SC & ST students in higher education during the Eleventh Plan (2007-2012). It will run specific schemes of coaching for SC/ST/OBC (Non creamy layer), women/minorities students and persons with disabilities to enhance the employability and success. One time grant of 2.00 lakhs will be provided for establishing office of EOC.

Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowships for SC/ST

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and Ministry of Tribal Affairs have entrusted and funded the UGC for implementation of the scheme of Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowships for SC and ST candidates by providing 2667 slots per year i.e. 2000 for SC category and 667 for ST category. The number of slots for SC has been increased from 1333 to 2000 w.e.f. 2010-11. The main objective is to minimize the social disparities in the field of Higher Education. The Central Government through UGC provides 2667 Research Fellowships for SC/ST candidates to undertake advanced studies and research leading to M.Phil/Ph.D. degrees in Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences including languages and Engineering & Technology. The tenure of the fellowship is for five years.

Post-Doctoral Fellowships for SC/ST

The objective of the fellowship scheme is to provide fellowships to SC/ST candidates, who have obtained a doctorate degree and have published research work to their credit, for doing advanced research in their chosen areas. For this purpose, the UGC has been providing 100 slots every year for them.

Post-Graduate Scholarships for SC/ST Students in Professional Courses

Keeping in view the social background of the candidates from deprived sections of the society, the scheme has been initiated to provide them an opportunity to undertake postgraduate level studies in professional courses. The tenure of the scholarship is for two/three years depending upon the duration of Degree course. The number of slots make available to them is 1000 every year.

Maulana Azad National Fellowships for Minority Students

The UGC has been entrusted to implement the scheme of Maulana Azad National Fellowship for Minority students by the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MOMA) from the year 2009-10. The objective of the scheme is to provide integrated five year fellowships in the form of financial assistance to students from minority communities, as notified by the Central Government, to pursue higher studies such as M. Phil and Ph.D. The number of slots available under the fellowship scheme is 756 every year.

Incentivising Women’s Inclusion

Development of Women’s Studies in Indian Universities and Colleges The Women’s Studies Programme which was initiated in VII Plan Period, was promoted, strengthened and given direction to over various plan periods by establishing Women’s Studies Centres in the University System. These Centres have contributed significantly to the promotion and expansion of Women’s Studies in teaching, research and field action. As on 31.03.2011, as many as 159 Women’s Studies Centres (83 in universities and 76 in colleges) including 28 centres set up in 2010-11, have been functioning in the University system.

Special Scheme for Construction of Hostels for Women

With a view to providing hostels and other infrastructural facilities in the colleges to achieve the goal of enhancing the status of women, the Commission had introduced a special scheme for the construction of Women’s Hostels during the year 1995-96. The Colleges which come within the purview of the UGC and are fit to receive central assistance under Section 12B of the UGC Act, are eligible to receive financial assistance. The financial assistance from the UGC is on 100% basis, subject to the ceiling. of women faculty, administrators and staff within the higher education system to increase the participation of women in higher education management for better gender balance, to sensitize the higher education system through policies and procedures, which recognize women quality and diversity and facilitate their advancement and to develop qualitative higher education by involving the unutilized pool of women capable of becoming administrators. The specific objectives of the scheme are to develop a perspective plan and strategy for reducing the gender gap in the higher education system, to offer various training programmes at different levels to women for stimulating them to aspire to become administrators, to develop relevant training materials for various programmes in print and electronic media, to support gender positive initiatives such as gender equity cell and developing sensitivity index, etc., to increase and support development of linkages among women managers in higher education through networking. The programme encompasses presently the following four types of training and skills development workshops for capacity building of women: (1) Sensitization/Awareness/Motivation (SAM) Workshops (five days duration); (2) Training of Trainers/Master Trainers Workshops (six days duration); (3) Management Skills Training Workshops (six days duration); (4) Refresher Workshops (three days duration)

Post Doctoral Fellowships for Women

The objective of the scheme is to provide an opportunity to the unemployed women with Ph.D. degrees, and who intend to pursue post-doctoral research on full time basis. At present, there are 100 slots per annum. Applications received against the advertisement during the year 2008-09 have been short-listed by the Screening Committee and the Expert Committee had recommended 85 candidates. Indira Gandhi Post-Graduate Scholarships Scheme for Single Girl Child. The govt. of India has taken various steps to uplift the status of women by implementing various schemes/programmes including free education for girls, declaration of elementary education as a basic human right of every child. The Indira Gandhi Post-graduate Scholarship for Single Girl Child Scheme is one of such schemes, with an aim to compensate direct cost of girl education at all levels especially for such girls who happened to be the only girl child in families.

Related Links:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *