The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all universities and affiliated colleges to ensure the early nomination of ‘Gender Champions’ from among students who will lead efforts to make campuses more inclusive and spread gender sensitisation.
The apex regulatory body for higher education in India has also asked the institutions to fill up the online compliance details.
”In order to increase the outreach for creating an environment that fosters equal treatment, the government envisages Gender Champions in all educational institutions across the country as responsible leaders,” UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain said in a letter to Vice Chancellors and college principals.
Gender Champions can be both boys and girls above 16 years of age enrolled in educational institutions and will facilitate an enabling environment within their schools, colleges, and academic institutions where girls are treated with dignity and respect, he said.
”’You are, therefore, once again requested to ensure swift implementation of the ‘Guidelines for Gender Champions in Educational lnstitutions’ in your university and also in the affiliated colleges in the best interest of students so as to achieve long-term sustainable change,” he added.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development has come out with a badge for Gender Champion which is available on its website and also on the MyGov portal, it said.
According to the guidelines, the Gender Champions must mainstream gender equality through group discussions poster competitions, and debates, identify and address gender gaps in the classrooms, organise awareness programs such as workshops and films.
They are also expected to popularise women helpline numbers, police, and hospital helplines across institutions as well as organise exposure visits to villages, blocks, districts, and cities to facilitate knowledge about gender equality. The guidelines were first introduced by the UGC in 2015.