UGC Guidelines to establish Centre for Women Studies in universities and colleges

Centre for Women Studies – With the apparent aim of women empowerment, especially those who hail from a marginalised section of the society, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued guidelines for setting up of Centre for Women Studies in universities and colleges and has sought proposals.

According to a senior UGC official, “Women studies centres will have a cohesive focus on most marginalised and disadvantaged women in the society. These include women from Schedule Caste and Tribes, women with disabilities, women living in unsafe environments, among others.”

“A women study centre must pursue a comprehensive, critical and balanced understanding of India’s socio-economic realities and governance. Its main components include women’s contribution to society and social processes and their perception of their own lives, the broader social reality and their struggles and aspirations,” the official told the news agency.

Soon after Independence, the University Education Commission was set up in 1948 under the Chairmanship of Dr S Radhakrishnan “to report on Indian university education and suggest improvements and extensions that might be desirable to suit the present and future needs and aspirations of the country”. It recommended that the University Grants Committee be reconstituted on the general model of the University Grants Commission of the United Kingdom with a full-time Chairman and other members to be appointed from amongst educationists of repute.

Focus area

The focus areas of the centres will be to build new knowledge on women in national and global perspectives and developing curriculum in women studies to meet the diverse needs of Indian women with a focus to develop inclusive society.

It will also suggest methods to build a conducive environment for women to take up positions of leadership in diverse sectors, conduct evidence-based research on women and economic development, and suggest methods to promote inclusion of women in the development of all sectors.

“The centres will be monitored and evaluated periodically by the UGC. Every year, the head of the centre will present a report on the working of the centre to its advisory committee and then submit it to the UGC with minutes or comments of the members. The report will describe achievements and actions taken and will have both quantitative as well as qualitative information,” the official said.

Evaluation of the centres will be on teaching, research, extension activities, seminars, workshops, special lectures, field action projects and action research, documentation and archive on women, a partnership with other UGC centres and non-UGC centres, government schemes and NGOs.

“We have sought proposals for setting up of new centres while the existing centres will have to give concurrence in the prescribed format to comply with the new guidelines,” the official added.

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