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EQUAL OPPORTUNITY CENTRE

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EQUAL OPPORTUNITY CENTRE

India is a country of diversity. It is hub of different religions, castes and cultures. Indian society is characterized by a highly entrenched system of social stratification. It is these social inequalities that created the barriers of denial of access to materials, cultural and educational resources to the disadvantaged groups of society. These disadvantaged groups are SC, ST, Women, OBC (Non-creamy layer), Minorities and physically challenged persons. It is clear from the demographic factors that a large section of population of our country is still disadvantaged and marginalized. Rigid compartmentalized caste system forced SCs to be socially deprived to render services without any claim on returns. The deprivation of dignity, identity and rights resulted in their dehumanization and humiliation. The STs were isolated neglected and exploited. Both SCs and STs continue to suffer from social disabilities even today.

Women victims of the past traditions and customs of the Indian society, were considered to be unequal and inferior. Even today women are being oppressed. Since gender disparity is known to lead to serious social imbalance, it is essential to naturalize these distortions of the past.

The minorities including Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and others collectively constitute about 19% of the Indian population. The recent report of the Prime Minister’s high level committee on the social and economic and educational status of the Muslim community of India has clearly indicated that the Muslim community exhibits deficits and deprivation in practically all dimensions of development. The same is true with some variation in case of the other minorities. The physically challenged deserve due place and attention in the demographic set up of the nation. On achieving independence, the nation took a conscious decision to undo the social and historic wrongs. For eradication of social disparities, various provisions were made in the Indian constitution. Our constitution enshrined democratization as one of the main objectives of education and anticipated the democratic expansion of education to serve social and economic upward mobility. The Indian education system seems to have been oriented only to meet the requirements of one third of the population ignoring the interest of the rest indeed historically education was confined to certain sections of the society. Inequality of educational opportunities is linked to variety of social locations such as caste, tribe, religion, region, language, gender etc. It is also determined by one’s class position measured in terms of income, occupation and residential location. Creating a condition of equal access in the midst of diversity and inequality necessitates whole range of inclusive policies and corresponding institutional mechanisms for their effective implementation. As a measure of promoting inclusion and diversity at the institutional level a number of affirmative action programmes and schemes have been initiated by the Government of India and its agencies. Establishment of Special Cells/ Equal Opportunity Cells in different universities and colleges is important intervention in this regard.

These cells have been created with two intertwined objectives

Role of these cells becomes especially important given the context of educational institutions in India. There are numerous socially and culturally embedded sites of group based exclusion and discrimination at the institutional level. In fact, the educational institutions do not exist in isolation. The symbiotic relationship that exists between society and institutions gets best reflected in the practices of the educational institutions. In this case an active intervention of the State through an array of inclusive policies and affirmative action programmes becomes a necessity. It is in this context that the Special Cells/Equal Opportunity Cells assume critical importance as mechanisms for addressing the issue of exclusion.

A focus of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services is to support the non-discrimination policies. The Equal Opportunity Centre has been functioning in the college from the academic year 2009-10 under the XI    plan fund utilization programme. It functions with a view to the effective implementation of policies and programmes for disadvantaged groups, to provide guidance and counseling with respect to academic, financial, social and other matters and to enhance the diversity within the campus. It ensures equity and equal opportunity to the community at large in the college and brings about social inclusion. It functions to create a socially congenial atmosphere for academic interaction and for the growth of healthy interpersonal relationships among the students coming from various social back grounds. The centre looks into the grievances of the weaker sections of society and suggests amicable solution to their problems. Special care is given to the cataclysm of SC/ST/OBC/MINORITY, PH, WOMEN and other deserving class.

"Equal opportunity is your right to be
treated fairly in all aspects of life,
regardless of your personal characteristics"

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

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