Caste bias on the rise in Andhra Pradesh colleges.

Hyderabad, Nov 01: Caste discrimination in colleges across the state, specifically in professional colleges, is on the rise.

This is more so in the case of students availing of the fee reimbursement scheme.

With the delay in government releasing the funds for colleges, the managements are forcing students to pay the amount. Students from SC, ST and BC categories, who are not in a position to pay, are facing discrimination. Some managements are allegedly even making casteist remarks and insulting students who fail to pay fees.

The government had directed all the colleges to maintain separate complaint registers to enable students to lodge such complaints.

It had also warned the colleges of severe action if they resort to such practices. However, the government has failed to initiate any steps to check the errant managements. As a result, the associations have approached the University Grants Commission.

The government was forced to act recently after the UGC intervened in the issue.

UGC joint secretary Dr K.C. Pathak has issued a circular to all the universities to curb caste discrimination in university colleges and affiliated colleges.

In a circular, Dr Pathak stated that, “Several instances have come to the notice of the UGC on caste discrimination in higher education institutes. It has been emphasised that they should desist from any act of discrimination against students on grounds of their social origin. The university/institute/college should develop a page on their website for lodging such complaints of caste discrimination and also place a complaint register in the registrar/ principal office for the purpose.”

The government has circulated the UGC orders to all the universities and directed them to ensure its implementation.

Thanks to the fee reimbursement scheme, the enrolment of students in professional colleges and other higher education institutes has increased manifold. While five years ago there were only about five lakh students from the BC/SC/ST categories pursuing education in professional colleges, the number today stands at 25 lakh.

Majority of these students are pursuing professional courses like B.Tech, MBA, MCA, MBBS etc.

Source : Deccan Chronicle

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