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Women studies centres seek extension of UGC grant

The Women Studies Centres were first promoted by the UGC in its guidelines issued in 1986.   | Photo Credit: Periasamy M

The Indian Association of Women’s Studies (IAWS) have written to the UGC requesting for extension of its grant period beyond March 31, 2021, for the 163 Women Study Centres (WSC) across various colleges and universities in the country.

“Erratic funding, unconscionable delays in reimbursement, absence of guidelines, and indecisive approach of UGC towards the programme has had a debilitating effect on WSCs, and placed all WSC personnel including students in a situation of relentless uncertainty, hardship and hopelessness,” reads the memorandum.

The Women Studies Centres were first promoted by the UGC in its guidelines issued in 1986 to meet the goals set out in the National Education Policy of inclusion of women’s equality and empowerment as an objective for education. But since the 12th five year plan concluded in 2017, the centres have not received a planned grant from the UGC, which has only given grants for six months to one year instead of the earlier practice of giving funds for five years.

As a result of financial uncertainty, the staff are unable to plan course-work and other long-term activities and Universities too are unsure about the status of these WSCs, it says.

Apart from the extensions of the grant period, the IAWS has also demanded that the UGC provide an assurance of support for at least a period of three years so that teaching sessions and research programmes can be planned better. They have also sought the release of grants for 2017-2019, the delay in which has led to several WSCs being unable to function as well as retrenchment of a considerable number of staff and faculty.

In order to secure the future of their students who stare at uncertainty with several WSCs shutting down, the IAWS has requested that faculty positions be created for such graduates.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 9:59:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/women-studies-centres-seek-extension-of-ugc-grant/article34000835.ece

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