The University Grants Commission (UGC) has drafted national guidelines to ensure a safe and secure environment for women in Higher Educational Institutes (HEIs) which are to be followed by colleges all across the country.
'To provide a safe, secure and violence-free environment to all the students, particularly the female students is the utmost responsibility of the institutions,' stated the public notice released by the UGC.
UGC's "Guidelines for Basic facilities and amenities for a safe, secure environment for Women and Women Cell (for sensitization, policy implementation, monitoring, and grievance redressal) in HEIs" have been introduced as an initiative under the National Education Policy (NEP) released in 2020.
These directives aim to implement these changes via the creation of sensitised women cells alongside infrastructural changes that ensure safety at the workplace and higher educational institutions for women.
As per the guidelines, the HEIs have been asked to ensure prevention of stigmatization and secondary victimization of the complainant/victim.
Colleges have been permitted to invite the services of the legal counselors from the State Legal Service Authority (SLSA), District Legal Service Authorities (DLSA), or the law department, legal advocacy groups, and in-house legal counselors, etc, to implement these.