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VTU does a trip-tease

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After the recent tragedy that took the lives of 8 Belagavi students, the vice-chancellor is looking to enforce AICTE’s guidelines for college tours, to ensure safety. Although the college was not blamed, a gentle appeal was made to the institute to compensate the victims’ families. The new rules now bring to the fore the need for pre-trip insurance. Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), Belagavi, has decided to enforce guidelines on college trips for all institutions affiliated with it after the death of eight students from Maratha Mandal Engineering College on Saturday. University Vice-Chancellor Karisiddappa told Bangalore Mirror that the tragic drowning of the students off the coast of Maharashtra has called for these measures.  “This is a really unfortunate incident. I don’t have details of it, but if there were faculty members present at the spot, then it might have been a scheduled trip by the college. In such a case, the college should have taken precautionary measures to ensure the safety of students,” he told BM, en route to Belagavi from Davanagere after a college visit.

The group of 47 students from the engineering college had been accompanied by two staff members. The students had reportedly been warned by locals about high tide, but they had ignored them and stepped into the water.  The guidelines on college trips, Karisiddappa said, would be issued to all colleges under VTU. “These have been laid down by the All India Committee of Technical Education (AICTE) and University Grants Commission (UGC) for the safety of students. Normally, colleges take insurance for students in such cases. I do not know if this college had done it. So from now onwards, all colleges will have to follow the guidelines,” he said.  The AICTE had issued these guidelines for all the technical institutions across the country a year after the tragic death of 24 students from Hyderabad at Beas river in Himachal Pradesh in 2014.  “The college administration must compensate the families who have lost their children,” he said, adding that although he didn’t blame the college, it would be a thoughtful gesture.
SOME KEY GUIDELINES
The head of the institution should ensure that security i-cards are issued to students; college must maintain a database of personal details of students

Permission to be obtained for the place to be visited from local authorities
Insurance / accident cover for students
Permission from parents or guardians
Fitness certificate from a doctor
College faculty accompanying students must take accountability for the safety of students
Activities in a waterbody must be taken up under the supervision of a trainer/lifeguard.   –   Courtesy

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