Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Apr 21:
Students of all colleges and universities, including those in Odisha, need to be insured before they go on an excursion or study tour from now on, as per a new guideline set by University Grants Commission (UGC).
The guidelines also make parents’ approval in all cases and the presence of a doctor manadatory if the number of students exceeds 50 before any such visit.
UGC framed these guidelines following a series of accidents that came to light recently. The worst of these tragedies was the mishap in Himachal Pradesh in which 24 engineering students from Andhra Pradesh drowned in river Beas while on an excursion last year.
The new guidelines also recommend that the students should be properly trained and briefed on the geography, climate, hazardous locations and risk zones at the proposed destination, codes on environmental protection, emergency procedures and basic first aid.
Besides making the guidelines available on its official website, the UGC has sent copies to vice-chancellors of all universities. The move aims at transforming the campuses of higher educational institutions into “oasis of safety, security and study”.
Further, making amendments to previous rules, the new guidelines recommend the students to carry mobile phones so that they can remain in constant touch with their parents. UGC expects this to facilitate casualty handling and communication in the event of an emergency.