UGC frames draft guidelines to address mental health issues of college students

UGC asked all institutes to set up Students Services Centre. It has invited suggestions regarding the guidelines for promotion of physical fitness.

University Grants CommissionUniversity Grants Commission

Anu Parthiban | May 7, 2022 | 10:50 AM IST

NEW DELHI: To address the challenges faced by the students due to stress and peer pressure, the University Grants Commission has framed guidelines for promotion of physical fitness, sports, students' health, welfare, psychological and emotional well being at higher educational institutions of India.

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The commission has also invited suggestion from students and faculty of HEIs, parents and members of the civil society. The comments or suggestion may be sent to UGC on policyfeedbackugc@gmail.com within two weeks from the date of uploading the public notice on the UGC website. The notice was released on Friday, May 6, 2022.

These guidelines have been framed to provide support to all the students enrolled in Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs), with special emphasis on promoting physical fitness and sports activities, creating safeguards against academic pressure, peer-pressure, behavioural issues, stress, career concerns, depression and other issues pertaining to mental health of students; inculcating positive thinking in student community and promoting positive and supportive networks for students, the UGC said in its notice.

As per the UGC draft guidelines, “Every HEI shall have a Students Services Centre (SSC) responsible for dealing with and managing the problems related to stress and emotional adjustment.”

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The SSC will carry out counselling, guidance, physical and mental health services in the online mode, in person, through a telephone helpline, or in group counselling sessions depending upon the circumstances, it said.

The SSC will have access to the database of a student’s profile and will also maintain separate records of students appearing to be more vulnerable and stress-prone for further support and resilience building exercises.

“The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) may consider to assign certain points/grades for provisions of SSCs in HEIs,” as per the notice.

“The course(s) on mental health may be included in the curriculum with some credits to be assigned for successful completion of the course,” it instructed.

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