In our ever-advancing world of ours, higher educational institutions are receiving demands from their students of better infrastructure and placement prospects. The goal is to reach the facilities provided by institutes such as IIM and IIT who can achieve this with the support of their strong alumni bodies. UGC, respecting the increasing need of the students, has finally made it their goal to develop their alumni networks to improve funding prospects as well as that of placements. This is part of a ten-point mandate that they had announced last year, that hopes to improve the quality of higher educational institutions in the country.
“The idea is to make alumni networks in the Central universities and other higher institutes as strong as IITs and IIMs. Having strong alumni connections not only help in providing funds to the institution but also plays a crucial role during placements,” said a source from UGC.
The mandate released by UGC in the year 2018, broadly covers areas such as improving educational environments for students on the basis that they can graduate with flying colors, increasing accessibility and availability of employment to every student in these institutions and ensuring that every institution gets accreditation of a score of at least 2.5 by NAAC by the year 2022. These plans are big and achieving them would not be an easy task. UGC has also planned on setting on the path of nationwide Fit India pledge. They have set out new guidelines that need to be maintained by institutions under the ‘Fit India Campaign.’ One of them is the necessity to incorporate sports or any form of physical activities in their curriculum.
“We have updated the guidelines for the campaign. However, it will take us some time to comment on the response it is receiving,” another source from UGC said.
UGC has also set out to educate students in universities and colleges affiliated with it on the ethics and misconducts of publication. They have released a circular permitting a two-credit course on ‘Research and Publication Ethics.’ It broadly covers a lot of aspects and areas that are constantly faced by writers and researchers all over the world. Plagiarism is one of the biggest problems faced by scholars and academics which have proven to be one of the biggest crimes of all time. Protection against plagiarism, tools to identify and protect yourself from, etc are broadly covered in this course. Initially, M. Phil and Ph.D. students and faculty members if interested will be eligible for this course. It will later be made available to postgraduate students as well.
UGC is really paving the way of improving the educational environment for students and teachers, together. According to the mandate, there are many such steps that have been taken such as providing professional training and training of soft skills to students, regular revision of curriculum, use of ICT to improve the teacher-student relationship in class, among others. The hope is to improve the educational system in the country, one step at a time.