The Social Protection Office (SPO) has been set up in the Institute to ensure effective implementation of affirmative actions and operationalisation of supportive mechanisms for various disadvantaged communities. The SPO facilitates the Institute’s resolve to implement the reservation policies for admissions and recruitments in letter and spirit. From the Student Service Cell established in 1986 and later the SC/ST Cell, the mandate has been expanded to include various supportive services for students, staff and faculty members belonging to other disadvantaged social groups such as Other Backward Classes (OBC), Persons with Disability (PWD), Minorities, Kashmiri migrants and kin of Armed Forces on the basis of the directives from the GoI and the UGC from time to time.
The SPO organised a Pre-Admission Orientation Programme (PAO) for candidates who had applied for the 2017-18 TISS Common Entrance Test (CET) in all the TISS campuses. In all, 518 candidates from all over India attended the PAO programme, with faculty members and students orienting the candidates about the various aspects of the admission process. The Students’ Union and student volunteers participated in the organisation and implementation of the programme. A training video entitled With You helped the candidates with the processes of the CET, Pre-Interview Test and Personal Interview.
The SPO, along with the Office of Student Affairs, organised Post-Admission Orientation of general category and students from deprived communities admitted in 2016–17. These orientations emphasised both the academic and non-academic aspects of life in the Institute, particularly stressing on the multicultural and multilingual environment that students encounter on campus. The SPO also organised language proficiency classes for those who required it.
Scholarship management is another important function of the SPO. Under the Central Sector Scholarship Scheme of Top Class Education Scholarship: (i) 3 students have received the scholarship sponsored by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment; and (ii) 31 students have applied online through the national portal for the National Scholarship for Higher education for ST students (formerly known as Top Class Education Scholarship) sponsored by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, New Delhi. The scholarships include a laptop and financial provision for books.
In the academic year 2016–17, the SPO has facilitated the process of securing the GoI Post Matric Scholarship (GoI PMS) for 150 students from SC; 119 students from ST; 50 students from OBC (NC); 4 students from PWD; and 20 students from Minority categories. The SPO also facilitated the process of securing other scholarships for students who are not eligible for GoI-PMS such as Ishan Uday for North-Eastern Region, Scholarship for Persons with Disability sponsored by NHFDC, Indira Gandhi Scholarship Scheme for Single Girl Child, PG Scholarship for Professional Courses for SC/ST, PG Merit Scholarship Scheme for University Rank Holders at Undergraduate level, Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for SC/ST, Maulana Azad National Fellowship for Minority and Post-Doctoral Fellowship for SC/ST from the UGC for M.Phil. and Ph.D. Scholars.
The SPO oversees the admission process and extends support to the Admissions Steering Committee at the Institute level to ensure smooth implementation of reservation policies in selection panels for administrative as well as academic positions. In the year 2016–17, a comprehensive review document was prepared at the behest of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Tribes to capture the processes of implementation of reservation policies by the Institute.
Prof. Vijay RaghavanDean, Social Protection Office
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