New Delhi: With the Supreme Court appointed 4 member committee recommendations on ‘ragging’ out, the University Grants Commission(UGC), has issued a direction to all varsities and colleges to implement them on their respective campuses
Some of the suggestions made by the Committee include:
- Counselling perpetrators and victims
- installing CCTV cameras in key areas
- laying down of standard operating procedures to tackle the cases of ragging.
A written communication of the UGC has asked the Vice-Chancellors of varsities all across, to install CC TV cameras and create a “proper surveillance mechanism including a check on hostels by the wardens.”
“Students should be made aware of the rules, as well as, the procedure for filing a complaint; whom to approach and their contact information, the procedure that will be followed by the institutions, with the assurance of keeping anonymity of complainant,” mentioned the letter written by the UGC Secretary, P K Thakur.
The UGC circular, also listed the key recommendations of a 4 member committee, comprising of mental health and public health professionals, (appointed by the Supreme Court in 2009) to carry out “Psychosocial Study of Ragging in Selected Educational Institutions in India”.
The Committee’s 252-page report published in 2015, under the guidance of Professor Mohan Rao was the outcome of the death of Aman Kachroo, a medical student who was allegedly killed by his seniors in a medical college in Kangra.
The report, a result of a 37 college’s survey concluded:
- as many as 40 percent students face some form of ragging on campus; only 9 percent cases reported.
- a significant number of students—about 32 percent—accepted “enjoying” ragging while over 60 percent had negative emotions about ragging and nearly 65 percent students never got along well with seniors who ragged them.
- “it’s a myth that ragging is a tool to help fresher students bond with their seniors.”
The UGC circular listed out these key statistics above.
The circular by the UGC further reads, “You (head of institutions) are requested to implement these recommendations and ensure a ragging-free campus and create an institutional climate which is supportive and fair, with faculty who are attuned to and interested in student development that will become the foundation of a dynamic culture that is just, progressive and open to change towards an egalitarian society.”
The UGC circular also asks college principals to appoint officials who will continue to remain in regular touch with students and promote their “inclusion in activities” like sports, games and extra-curricular activities in the hostels’, reports TNIE.
“The higher education institutions must provide an environment where the students learn the values of democratic, mutually respectful relationships, non-violent conflict resolution, autonomous and critical thinking, compassion and caring, respect for differences, fairness and so on,” the UGC stated. It further clarified that this could be achieved through holding programs and activities that foster “civic engagement and responsibility, critical reflection on social issues and deliberation on values.”