UGC push for human values, ethics amid student protest

Union Minister for Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launches the UGC Guidelines/Frameworks

The University Grants Commission (UGC) wants heads of the higher education institutions to strictly implement government rules and regulations applicable to them and seeks students unions to support administration and raise “legitimate issues in a dignified manner” only.

Teachers should act as a role model for the students “by displaying good conduct, setting a standard of dress, speech and behaviour worthy of example to the students.”

These are some of the guidelines of the UGC, released by HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Thursday for the inculcation of human values and professional ethics in the higher education institutions' teachers, students, deans of various faculties, directors, vice-chancellors and other employees.

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The UGC has also proposed establishing a national centre for human values and professional ethics along with its regional centres at the central universities in the States. A foundation course on human values and professional ethics would also be introduced at the undergraduate and postgraduate level.

“Why should students resort to agitations? They should have faith in us (institution heads, faculty members and other authorities in institutions) and also have respect. Why there is no respect? It's because we (teachers and other authorities in institutions) lowered our dignity. We have to restore our dignity,” Nishank said while releasing the UGC guidelines.

The minister, while releasing another UGC guideline for implementation of a one-month mandatory faculty induction programme for the newly recruited teachers, also stressed on the need to inculcate leadership among the teachers so that they can “efficiently” handle "various types of problems" in their campus.

This came at a time when students have taken a course of agitation in protest against the citizenship amendment law, a proposal for a national register of citizens, draft national policy on education, hostel fee hike in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and a range of other issues.

The UGC guidelines stipulate that the principal academic and administrative officers of the higher education institutions including vice-chancellors of universities will ensure that provisions of all Acts, Statutes, Ordinances and regulations of the institution are duly adhered to.

“The authorities would provide inspirational and motivational value-based academic and executive leadership to the higher education institution through higher education institutions through policy formation, operational management, optimisation of human resources and concern for environment and sustainability,” it provides.

The guidelines seek higher education faculty members and the students to abide by the provisions of the institutions' Acts, Statutes, Ordinances rules, policies and procedures.

“Students would observe modesty in their overall appearance and behaviour. Students unions would support the administration for right and timely decisions,” it stipulates.

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