“Since higher education is a tool for social and economic equality, the UGC has been addressing national concerns of access, and equality, while ensuring the standard of quality and relevance of education by implementing policies of the Government of India and promoting several schemes and programmes for the disadvantaged groups that would help in eliminating social disparities”. “India is potentially rich in human resources. To harvest the same and make the present education system inclusive, the degree of democratization of higher education has to be increased to a large extent. Further colleges should become more responsive to the needs and constraints of the disadvantaged social groups. Therefore, the UGC has planned to establish Equal Opportunity Centre (EOC) in colleges/Universities”.
The broad aims and objectives of EOC are:
“To oversee the effective implementation of policies and programmes for disadvantaged groups, to provide guidance and counselling with respect to academic, financial, social and other matters and to enhance the diversity within the campus.” (UGC Guidelines for Scheme of Equal Opportunity Centre for Colleges, XII Plan (2012-2017), p.1).
Primary Functions of EOC:
The primary functions of the EOC, according to the UGC Guidelines, and as specified in the letter of the Secretary, UGC, dated 26th January 2016, are:
- To sensitize universities/colleges about the problems of the marginalized/disadvantaged sections of the society so that they are able to.
- improve their performance not only in the education but also in other spheres of life.
- To sensitize the mainstream sections of the society towards the problems of the marginalized sections of the society.
- To monitor the various schemes/policies of the Government of India and State Governments relating to marginalized/disadvantaged sections.
- To ensure that there is an effective functional SC/ST Cell as has been mandated in the DoPT Brochure on Reservation for SC, ST & Other Backward Classes in Services.
- To also become an effective tool for gender sensitization and ensure participation in all socially relevant activities of the Universities/ Colleges and NSS.
Other functions of EOC as stated in the EOC guidelines:
- To ensure equity and equal opportunity to the community at large in the college and bring about social inclusion.
- To enhance the diversity among the students, teaching and non-teaching staff population and at the same time eliminate the perception of discrimination.
- To create a socially congenial atmosphere for academic interaction and for the growth of healthy interpersonal relationships among the students coming from various social backgrounds.
- To look into the grievances of the weaker section of society and suggest amicable solution to their problems.
- To disseminate the information related to schemes and programmes for the welfare of the socially weaker section as well as notifications/memoranda, office.
- orders of the Government, or other related agencies/organizations issued from time to time.
- To prepare barrier free formalities/procedures for admission/registration of students belonging to the disadvantaged groups of society.
- To establish coordination with the Government and other agencies/organizations to mobilize academic and financial resources to provide assistance to students of the disadvantaged groups.
- To organize periodic meetings to monitor the progress of different schemes.
- To adopt measures to ensure due share of utilization by SC/ST in admissions, recruitments (teaching and non-teaching posts) and to improve their performances.
Equal Opportunity Centre at Sahyog College
In response to the UGC’s XII Plan guidelines, and its subsequent reminder letter cited above, the Sahyog College set up the Equal Opportunity Centre (EOC) on June 14, 2022 to carry out the above stated mandatory functions. Besides the above stated functions, the EOC, Sahyog College has the following additional responsibilities:
- The EOC shall establish coordination with the Government and other agencies/ organization to mobilize academic and financial resources to provide assistance to those students who are the most deprived and in dire need of economic support to complete their education in Sahyog College. The EOC shall prepare proposals for funding support and submit to various funding organisations with the approval of the Director, and the funds so mobilized would be used for the welfare of such students.
- The EOC will be a Nodal Office for utilization of grants received from the various sources for the welfare of the marginalized section of the society in the institute.
The EOC, Sahyog College shall function in the following manner:
- The EOC shall be an overarching body, coordinating the functions of (i) SC/ST Cell and (ii) OPEM Cell (Cell for OBC, PWD, EWS, and Minority categories).
- The EOC shall address issues of the respective communities among faculty, staff and students of Sahyog College and shall have jurisdiction over all campuses.
- The EOC shall monitor, coordinate and maintain database across all the campuses of Sahyog College. EOC shall also maintain all necessary database related to the Functions of EOC.
- While the regulatory functions in respect to each of the social categories shall be handled directly by the Cells (SC/ST Cell and OPEM Cell) under the supervision of the convener, EOC, shall act as the Coordinator of both the Cells for regulatory functions.
- The Convener, EOC, shall be responsible not only for protective functions such as grievances redressal with the help of a grievances redressal committee, but also for promotional functions such as awareness generation and capacity building among the concerned social categories.
Administrative Structure of EOC 2022-23:
|Dr. Manish Patil
|Chairperson (Director, Sahyog Pratishthan)
|Mrs. Kaveri Bansode
|Convener, SC/ST Cell
|Dr. Neeta Patil
|Convener, OPEM Cell
|Ms. Lata Sawant
|Mr. Prashant Avhad