The UGC Creates Guidelines For Enhancing Student Health And Fitness In Institutions Of Higher learning. 

The initiative also aims to protect students from academic pressure, peer pressure, behavioral disorders, stress, career concerns, depression, and other mental health challenges. 

The University Grants Commission, UGC has drafted draught guidelines for promoting physical fitness, sports, student health, welfare, psychological, and emotional well-being at HEIs across the country. 

The recommendations have been intended to address the concerns and challenges that arise from student stress. The initiative also aims to protect students from academic pressure, peer pressure, behavioral issues, stress, career concerns, depression, and other mental health challenges. 

Students Services Centre (SSC): 

 Each Higher Education Institute HEI must have a Students Services Centre (SSC) that is responsible for interacting with and managing stress and emotional adjustment issues. 

The SSC must have the necessary resources, such as qualified physical and mental health counsellors, physical and mental health experts, and physical/physio-psychological assessment tools, to inform, assess, guide, and provide necessary counselling interventions to students so that they feel empowered, energized, and capable of pursuing their career goals. 

To handle relevant student issues, the SSC will function as a single-window system. 

Physical Fitness: 

 HEIs must place a strong emphasis on physical activity for all students to keep them physically and intellectually fit. Physical activity programmes and provisions: HEIs must foster an environment in which students are encouraged to engage in physical exercise. 

The NSS and NCC, as well as other channels for meaningful engagement with students, should be strengthened. On campus, HEIs must build the appropriate outdoor and indoor sports facilities and infrastructure. Student hostels should also be furnished with the bare minimum of amenities. 

All HEI students should be encouraged to learn a set of yogic asanas that include forward bending, backward bending, sideward bending, and spine twisting.   

Similarly, students should be introduced to pranayama and heart-based meditation. 

Other noteworthy points:  

The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) may consider awarding points/grades to HEIs that provide SSCs. The records of SSC’s numerous activities must be kept correctly and made available to NAAC, NIRF, and others as needed. 

Each case of student-teacher counselling on mental health issues must be kept confidential by HEIs and SSCs. HEIs should hold motivational talks and other activities to encourage students to think positively on a regular basis. The mental health course (s) could be included in the curriculum, with some credits granted for satisfactory completion. 

Source: OTV



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