UGC releases guidelines to promote physical activities in HEIs

The guidelines said that the sports council, along with Physical Education and Yoga departments need to create programmes and opportunities for physical fitness and ensure its monitoring on a regular basis.
UGC releases guidelines to promote physical activities in HEIs
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CHENNAI: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released new guidelines for the promotion of physical fitness, sports students' health, welfare, and psychological and emotional well-being at Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs).

The commission, in its guidelines, said the main objective of the move is to ensure equitable access to quality mental health services to all the students enrolled in HEIs with special emphasis on firstly promoting physical fitness and sports activities for students and secondly creating a safeguard against academic pressure, peer-pressure, behavioral issues, stress, career concerns, depression and other issues pertaining to the mental health of students.

The UGC said other objectives include inculcating positive thinking and emotions in the student community and to promote a positive and supportive network for students.

Accordingly, the Student's Service Centres (SSC), which were set up in all HEIs, will ensure effective coordination with the health centre of the HEIs. Details of the student support system for the physical and mental health of students must be properly highlighted on the website of respective HEIs and their admission brochures.

The commission said besides educating students, HEIs must focus on physical activity for all students so as to help them stay physically fit and mentally healthy. Currently, physical activity is not mandatory in spite of higher education institutions having sufficient human resources and infrastructure for physical and sports activity.

The guidelines said that the sports council, along with Physical Education and Yoga departments need to create programmes and opportunities for physical fitness and ensure its monitoring on a regular basis.

The HEIs were also instructed to plan for MOUs with institutions like AIIMS where departments of psychiatry would be fully functional in case special pharmacological intervention or other medical interventions are required.

As there has been an acute shortage of trained and competent mental health professionals, the HEIs should start special courses to prepare mental health professionals to take up the responsibility of educating and training professionals as per UGC/AICTE/MCI provisions and guidelines.

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