The University Grants Commission (UGC) has requested proactive support from Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to implement a two-credit course and other guidelines and recommendations for community engagement and social responsibility. The commission has advised HEIs to act appropriately in accordance with the rules set forth by the commission at their individual institutions. The community interaction and social responsibility course aims to offer community engagement opportunities to students.
The community engagement course will boost the students’ understanding of rural culture and lifestyle, as well as their ability to identify the causes of hardship and poverty. Students will be encouraged to suggest solutions by applying classroom knowledge to real-world situations.
A total of two credits will be awarded for the course, one for field work and one for classroom and tutorials. During the 30-hour course, students will spend at least 50 per cent of the time on the field. On the SWAYAM site, swayam.gov.in, the UGC has created Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on Community Engagement and Social Responsibility that will be accessible soon. SWAYAM offers a great platform for interdisciplinary learning and hundreds of UGC – recognised online courses.
The vice-chancellors of all universities and college principals were informed about the course in a letter addressed by professor Rajnish Jain, secretary, UGC. “As the Guidelines recommend teaching of a two-credit course on Community Engagement and Social Responsibility, the UGC identified seven Regional Centres for Capacity Building of faculty as Master Trainers (MTs) for Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) under UBA. Towards this, UGC has conducted two online training programmes for nominated faculty members from the seven centres on January 27 and February 15, 2022,” the UGC letter read.
As part of the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) in India, UGC had earlier on February 28 solicited comments and suggestions on the proposed national curriculum framework and guidelines for fostering social responsibility and community engagement in HEIs. The UGC has come up with the final guidelines for fostering social responsibility and community engagement effectively in HEIs in India 2.0 after taking the comments and suggestions received into consideration.
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