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UGC moots varsity police stations for students security

New Delhi: If UGC has its way, universities will soon have their own police stations for quick handling of crisis and preventing untoward incidents on campus.

In a set of guidelines framed for enhancing students’ safety and security on campuses, University Grants Commission (UGC) has said university police station can go a long way in “instilling” a sense of security amongst students and scare amongst “nuisance makers and petty criminals”.

The guidelines suggest adoption of some of the best practices implemented by campuses worldwide like the ‘Warn Me’ model developed by University of California, Berkley, helping in sending of emergency messages through Internet and mobiles.

It also pitch for providing short-distance escort services to students attending varsity organised eveningĀ  concerts and other events.

The “Guidelines on Safety of Students on and off Campuses of Higher Educational Institutions” have been shared with all varsities by UGC, asking them to amend their ordinances and other relevant statutory provisions to ensure the directions are implemented in the best interests of students.

About the university police stations on the campus, it said “officials of such a station can not only handle any crisis situation in an instant but also prevent untoward happenings by security measures like night patrols and so on”.

The UGC guidelines take a holistic view of the campus security measures and the problems confronting students during their academic years.

“It is understandable that classes, study, research, meetings, films or concerts can keep students on campus till late at night. Police officials can provide on-demand short- distance escort services to students as they walk down to hostel or nearest taxi or bus-stand etc,” the guidelines said.

The student community can be encouraged to form a group of Community Service Officers to provide such service on rotation basis. Higher education institutes can also provide ‘Night Safety Shuttle’ facility to such students which offer door-to-door pick and drop services, it added.

Installation of emergency notification system has also been suggested as part of the guidelines, through which emergency message can be sent via email, telephone and cell phone within minutes of the occurrence of an incident.

The ‘WarnMe’ system developed by University of California is working successfully and the emergency information system could be utilised in crisis condition so that stampede-like situations can be avoided, it said.

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