UGC sets up task force to review security

Seeking to ensure safety of women in universities and colleges, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has constituted a task force to review security arrangements in higher educational institutions across the country and suggest measures to put in place “strong safeguards.”

The 10-member task force, to be headed by UGC member Meenakshi Gopinath, will “analyse and assess” the existing arrangements for safety of both woman students and employees.

It will also identify loopholes in the existing arrangements and suggest remedial measures. The present grievance redress mechanism for gender specific concerns will also be evaluated.

“The task force has been asked to give its report within two months,” an UGC official said. Alarmed by the recent gang-rape of a physiotherapy student in the national capital, the UGC had requested all vice-chancellors and heads of higher educational institutions on January 1 to “seriously” review the security arrangements for women on their campuses and strengthen them if necessary.

“The spate of recent disturbing events in the national capital and other parts of the country have necessitated the UGC to review the existing arrangements on the campuses of all institutions of higher learning to ensure freedom, safety and security of girls and women in particular and the entire youth population in general,” said Ved Prakash, acting chairman of the Commission.

It was felt appropriate to constitute a task force to review the present arrangements, he added.

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