Following the death of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in the Hyderabad Central University (HCU), the University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked affiliated universities and colleges to send information about the status of the reservation students’ cell on campuses. However, city colleges and students remain unaware of the existence of any such body, the formation of which UGC had initiated almost a decade ago.
Several city colleges are not even aware of this committee, which is formed to look after reserved category students on campuses and is an appropriate authority to handle their complaints. Representation pic
The UGC has sought information ranging from the committee’s existence, activities conducted by it to ensure there is no caste-based discrimination on campus, how many complaints it has received and what is the status of these complaints.
These committees, which the UGC had asked colleges to form almost a decade ago, are still missing from many higher education institutions. While some prominent city colleges have the cell, its work is restricted to looking after scholarships and other documentation work of reserved category students.
Principal of a renowned city college told mid-day, “We do have the cell. Professors and non-teaching staff are associated with it, because several times, students coming from reserved category do not have appropriate guidance in terms of higher education. Moreover, there is a lot of clerical work associated with the applications of scholarships given to reserved category students. So it is good to have dedicated people working towards it so that the government’s work is done.”
However, several colleges are not even aware of this committee, which is formed to look after reserved category students on campuses and is an appropriate authority to handle their complaints. In many colleges, these committees do not even exist. A principal from a suburban college was not aware that such a committee is required on campus. “I have seen the UGC guideline. We have now prepared a committee,” the principal said.
Only on paper
Speaking to mid-day, Ashish Gade, Mumbai President of the Republican Vidyarthi Sena said, “Most of the colleges in the city do not have these committees, let alone the awareness among students about the existence of such bodies for their welfare. If we receive any complaint from a student, we demand information from the college under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, after which colleges prepare these committees to show it in their reply. But they remain on paper.”
He added, “Students, on the other hand are completely unaware of these committees. It appears to be just an eyewash from the UGC after the entire [Rohith Vemula] incident, while students continue to face problems on campuses.”