Indore: UGC directs HEIs to give high priority to fitness

Indore: As part of Fit India Movement, University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued “Guidelines for an Institutional Fitness Plan in the Higher Education Institutions" for promoting fitness and well being in universities and colleges.

In a letter, UGC secretary Rajnish Jain said that the varsities and colleges should evolve a mechanism for implementation of the guidelines and monitor the activities periodically.

The letter adds that all higher education institutions (HEIs) need to accord high priority to physical and mental fitness of students, faculty and staff in the campus.

As per the guidelines, the HEI is required to incorporate physical fitness period or time slots into the academic calendar. The physical fitness time slots may be staggered throughout the day to enable all students to participate.

The institutions have been also told to rope in fitness leaders to mentor students for physical fitness and invite health icons and motivational speakers on health and fitness to address students in campus.

The guidelines stipulate for encouraging all the students, staff and teachers to devote minimum one hour per day on fitness activities such as exercise, yoga, meditation, walking, cycling, aerobics, dance, traditional regional martial arts etc.

Services of student volunteers from the institutions, faculty members, instructors, ex-servicemen, and other volunteers may be obtained on voluntary basis.

The guidelines states that students should be encouraged to climb stairs, walk at least 10000 steps a day and use cycles within campus.

For emotional concerns, the UGC guidelines say awareness or sensitization workshops on depression, anxiety and stress management may be organized for faculty and students.

The HEI has been told to organize sports activities (at least once in a quarter) and encourage students to participate in such activities.

Besides, they have been told to hold annual health check-ups by volunteer health doctors or voluntary organisations to monitor health & fitness of students, faculty and staff.

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