Tuesday, October 10, 2006

[NewIndPress] Fear of ragging looms over campuses

Monday October 9 2006 14:02 IST

T’PURAM: With another academic year beginning in professional colleges, ragging has reared its ugly head.

Many students who have got admitted to professional colleges, especially in North Kerala, have been forced to seek admission in private lodges outside the campus for fear of being ragged. Fearing the prospect of ragging, certain institutions have also taken the extra caution of not admitting freshers in college hostels.

The classes for MBBS and BDS courses began on September 30. The classes for engineering, BPharm, architecture and medical and allied courses other than MBBS and BDS would commence on Monday.

Several educational institutions are also planning to sensitise the newly-admitted students on ragging.

In the most sensational ragging case during the last academic year, the police had filed a chargesheet against nine students of the School of Medical Education under the Mahatama Gandhi University for allegedly ragging a 17-year-old girl student. Following this, colleges across the state observed an ‘Anti-ragging day’ on December 6.

According to the Kerala Prohibition of Ragging Act, 1998, any student who who is found to have committed the crime can be sentenced to two years imprisonment and slapped with a fine of Rs 10,000.

Such students would face dismissal and would not be admitted to any other institution for a period of three years from the date of dismissal.

If a case of ragging is reported from an institution, the Act mandates that the head of the institution should investigate the case within seven days.

If prima-facie evidence is found, the student should be suspended and the case reported to the police.

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