HEIs may soon provide part-time jobs to economically weaker students

The UGC has proposed that HEIs may provide various part-time engagement opportunities to the enrolled students in any academic departments of the HEIs within the campus

Press Trust of India New Delhi
(Photo: Shutterstock)

(Photo: Shutterstock)

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An "earn-while-learn" scheme might soon be launched in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to help students from socio-economically disadvantaged groups to earn and support their education, according to University Grants Commission (UGC).

The UGC has proposed that HEIs may provide various part-time engagement opportunities to the enrolled students in any academic departments of the HEIs within the campus.

According to draft Guidelines for Equitable Opportunity to the Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs) in HEIs, the rate of remuneration for each of the students will be a consolidated amount on an hourly basis for the part-time service they render, a maximum of 20 hours per week, 20 days per month.

The UGC has noted the payment may be made on an actual basis and the services of the student will be rendered after class hours.

"The Earn-while-Learn (EWL) scheme is a means to help the SEDGs students earn and support their education and acquire skills and capabilities that would enhance their employability. It attempts to mitigate the economic hardships of learning and enhance the learner's adaptability. Both will improve the quality of education and make it a purposeful endeavour.

"It provides the students opportunities to develop their personality, gain technical skills and build their entrepreneurial ability, which would help them take up professional assignments relatively quickly. Under this scheme, opportunities for part-time engagement are provided to needy students," the draft guidelines read.

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The UGC has also listed an indicative list of such engagement opportunities, including working on research projects with an assistantship, library assignments, computer services, data entry, laboratory assistants, among others.

"The Head/Director/Coordinator of Academic Departments having eligible students for this scheme should prepare a pool of such candidates in consultation with Dean and Equal opportunity Cell and get it approved by a competent authority -- Vice Chancellor/ Principal, for each academic session," the draft guidelines read.

The guidelines have been prepared in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 that stresses on addressing the issues of students belonging to socio-economically disadvantaged groups (SEDGs).

The NEP 2020 broadly categorised SEDGs based on gender identities (particularly female and transgender individuals), socio-cultural identities (such as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs, and minorities), geographical identities (such as students from villages, small towns, and aspirational districts), disabilities (including learning disabilities), and socio-economic conditions.

The draft also recommends "bridge courses" to students from socio-economically disadvantaged groups at the beginning of their courses.

"The bridge courses are intended to help the students of SEDGs category perform academically at par with other category students. Such courses are to be conducted every year before the commencement of the semester programme, it stated.

The draft also stressed that appropriate sensitisation programmes are introduced and regularly organised for all teachers, administrators, functionaries, and students of HEIs, so that the latter become more open to valuing the relevance of inclusive policies such as reservation policy.

"There is a need to adhere to the principles of inclusion and equity at all levels of the HEIs' engagement with the SEDGs students, and it requires more sensitivity to the challenges faced by the SEDGs students, particularly concerning their self-respect, self-esteem, and dignity," it said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Apr 19 2023 | 8:40 PM IST

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