In a bid to enhance the security of students on and off the campus, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued guidelines for all higher educational institutions (HEI). The guidelines include erecting non-scalable walls around hostels, installing CCTVs, biometric attendance and recognition devices for students and faculty, and emergency measures for students in case of any eventualities. According to the guidelines, these measures need to be implemented as soon as possible to ensure a secure and friendly environment for students. Officials from the University of Mumbai said that they would implement the guidelines as soon as they get the requisite clearances from the authorities.
According to the preamble of the UGC guidelines, it is the prime concern of educational administrators to ensure that students are safeguarded against attacks, threats and accidents. The guidelines mention steps needed to be taken to achieve that by implementing the guidelines in their entirety or after making changes suited to the HEI.
One of the major points regarding the security of students living in hostels on or off the campus of HEI mentions the appointment of at least one female security officer to frisk female visitors to hostels. Providing identity cards that should be compulsorily worn by students and staff at all times and highlighting helpline numbers against ragging, sexual harassment, accidents and calamities at most frequently visited spots on the campus are among the more prominent guidelines.
Mridul Nile, Director-in-charge, Department of Students Welfare (DSW) said that while affiliated colleges have been asked to implement the guidelines as soon as possible, the university would also be doing so in a phased manner. “Some of the guidelines will take time to implement. The DSW has already prepared the proposals for the same and forwarded them to the concerned university authorities,” said Mr Nile.