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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has mandated that the Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) in India must offer a compulsory subject of “Community Engagement and Social Responsibility”. As per the mandate, the subject will be introduced to all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes offered by the HEIs.
The UGC has asked the Vice-Chancellors to either update or to create a new curriculum so as to incorporate the subject, in order to impart values on social responsibility and community engagement.
The Commission will be organizing workshops to train the faculty members in incorporating the subject in a unified manner. These workshops will be held from mid-December 2019 till 31st January 2020. The UGC has requested the institutes to assign two faculty members who will be attending the workshops.
The UGC has also requested the HEIs to share their ideas and suggestions on incorporating the community engagement and social responsibility skills among the students. The commission had sent a letter to all the Vice-Chancellors of the HEIs, wherein they have been requested to conceive a method of implementing the subject in the UG and PG programmes. The UGC will be shortlisting the successful methods and share the idea at the workshops.
Under the new subject, the students will be granted credits for partaking in activities that support community engagement and social responsibility. The students will be able to undertake initiatives that range from teaching to research projects. The subject aims to educate the students on local wisdom from the community, while also understanding the different problems faced by the community and also devising a solution for the challenges as well.
The UGC expects to boost a deeper communication between the local communities and the institutes. The UGC stated that the objective of the subject is to assure that community engagement is not looked upon as “a standalone activity”. They wish to incorporate the subject with the routine curriculum of the HEIs in India.