Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bhaderwah girl tortured during ragging in GMC Jammu

Jammu, Feb 26: A first year student of physiotherapy was subjected to intense ragging by about dozen seniors in Girl’s hostel of Government Medical College (GMC) here Sunday night.
GMC principal Dr Mumtaz Goni has constituted a committee to look into the matter but has denied that the girl was ragged by her seniors.

Sources said the first year female student, who hailed from Bhaderwah, had come to hostel room number 135 last evening at around 4 PM and took her dinner at 8’O clock. Sources said, the seniors dragged the girl and thrashed her till 11.30 PM. The girl suffered bruises and soft tissue injuries on her body.

The ragging was so intense that she felt unconscious, sources said, adding she even yelled for help but none came to her rescue. When she regained consciousness she informed her parents.
Sources said, though no FIR has been lodged at Bakshi Nagar police station in absence of medico-legal case yet, SP City Sanjay Kotwal has asked the College Principal to take action against culprits.

College principal Dr Goni said, “a committee has been constituted to look into the matter that will submit its report within a week.”

Monday, February 26, 2007

[Malaysia] Editorial: Wrong rites

26 Feb 2007

WHILE ragging is not officially approved in the military, it is astonishing how its unofficial practice finds many apologists in the military circles who defend it as a tradition worth preserving.

While conceding that the vicious beatings of a trainee air force pilot in Alor Star seem to have been excessive, the argument seems to be that so long as hazing is not extreme, it is acceptable.

Mild ragging is OK, it seems, because it is a rite of initiation which instils the esprit de corps needed to face the enemy in battle. But the problem is that what some may consider mild, others may regard as extreme, and even the mildest of ragging can be traumatic.

In the matter of the the Royal Malaysian Air Force trainee, ragging seems to be a euphemism for what appears to be a case of collective torture.

The problem is not the excesses but the very idea that cadets have to be subjected to rites of passage that are cruel and abusive to develop discipline and build character.

The question then is whether the drills and instructions during the training they receive in boot camp are so inadequate that they have to be humiliated. The violent attacks on the air force cadet strip bare the malice and brutality in military culture. That it has been tacitly allowed is alarming because it lays the groundwork for things to get out of hand.

The fact that it took police and media reports to take the lid off the issue reveals the strength of the unwritten code of silence and the lack of oversight mechanisms in the military.

It raises questions about the need for the military to condone the practice and should spur the Defence Ministry to take measures to change the culture rather than dismiss the abuses as isolated incidents and blaming them on the aberrant act of a few.

While steps have apparently been taken to combat abuses in the past, their implementation seems to have been lackadaisical. While a board of inquiry has been established to prosecute the abusers, the pledge not to allow a repeat of the incident hinges on measures to address ragging in the armed forces.

The military should adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards ragging by laying down the ground rules and implementing them unequivocally and consistently.

Otherwise, the only way systematic abuses in the military academies would be highlighted would be for someone to report to the police and squeal to the Press.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

SFI Submits Memo On Ragging

THE Students’ Federation of India (SFI) all India president R. Arun Kumar, Albeena Shakeel, joint secretary and Nithin, CEC member have submitted the following memorandum to the Supreme Court constituted committee against ragging in New Delhi on February 14. The following is the text of the memorandum

Ragging in campuses is a manifestation of coercive domination through the diversified use of class, caste, gender, region, language and race based hierarchies. The heroism created around the practices of ragging derives from the institutions of exploitation and discrimination embedded deep in our social fabric. Ragging seeks to create consent for other forms of exploitation in our society.

Ragging cannot be seen in isolation to the changes taking place in the society. The consumerist culture and discontent brewing in the society finds a vent through the means of ragging and harassment. Ragging thus should be viewed as a social problem than a law and order problem.
Ragging can be prevented only when:

1. Democratic atmosphere prevails in the campus

2. Students are involved in the process of prevention of ragging and they should be elected representatives of the student community

3. Immediate action should be taken on complaints

4. Action should be taken on the students indulging in ragging irrespective of their background

5. There is a stop on the degenerated culture that encourages ragging and other forms of harassment.

The punishment given to the students indulging in ragging should be based on the nature of the crime committed and the committees formed for this purpose should decide on this.

[ToI] Student ends life

ANANTAPUR: A nursing college was ransacked and records destroyed on Friday after students went on a rampage following the death of a nursing student, who allegedly committed suicide after being ragged by her seniors.

Police said several students attacked Adarsha Nursing College here alleging that a nursing student Afsar Bhanu, 18, had committed suicide after being ragged in the college on Thursday.

The students damaged furniture, window panes and records in the college accusing the management of being lenient towards incidents of ragging in the college.

Sources said that Afsar Bhanu, a native of Kutagulla village in Kadiri mandal, got admission into B.Sc first year nursing course on February 15.

Three days ago, she went back to her village after reportedly being ragged by seniors. She told her parents that she would not go to college as her seniors were harassing and insulting her.

Her parents Munny and Rassol came to the college and asked the management to return the fees as their daughter was unable to continue her studies at the college. However, the college management refused to do so.

Later, parents and relatives tried to convince Afsar Bhanu to resume her studies at the same college as the management had refused to repay the fees. Afsar reluctantly accepted to go to college. But, she consumed a bottle of hair dye at her residence in Kutagulla village on Thursday.

Family members immediately shifted her to Kadiri hospital, where doctors referred the case to Anantapur General Hospital as her condition was serious.

She died near Mudigubba while being shifted to Anantapur, late on Thursday.Meanwhile, the college management denied that ragging was prevalent in their college and the student had attended classes only for three days after the college opened.

[Malaysia] Ragging 'a way of life in military'

KUALA LUMPUR: Ragging is banned at military training camps. In practice, there is unofficial ragging of cadets to build their discipline and character.

While ragging does not officially exist at such institutions, it is carried out with the tacit acceptance of the authorities who see no harm in something that can help in the long run.

Most military personnel, in fact, believe it is can instil esprit de corps in cadets.

Senior armed forces personnel interviewed by the New Straits Times, who insisted on anonymity, concurred that ragging was a way of life in military training.

They were, however, equally in agreement that what happened to Royal Malaysian Air Force trainee Muhammad Hazim Ahmad Azman at the hands of a group of senior cadets at the Tanah Merah camp in Jitra was excessive.

Hazim was said to have been put through mental and physical abuse following a misunderstanding.

He was allegedly slapped, kicked, punched, stepped on and made to crawl on his knuckles as part of the torture.

He was also beaten with broom sticks and boots and forced to drink jugs of water until he vomited.

The seniors also allegedly forced him to eat nasi lemak mixed with grass, dunked him in sewage, forced him to gargle and wash his face in sewage and drink urine.

A fellow cadet, who could not stand seeing Hazim being put through the ordeal, recorded the incident with his camera phone and exposed it.

All officers interviewed agreed that ragging existed in military camps, although on a scale which did not come close to what Hazim went through.

One officer said he went through ragging from his seniors during his training.

"It’s normal. It makes us tough. How can we train soldiers to be tough if it does not happen?

"Yes, what the air force trainee was said to have gone through was a little extreme, but I wonder what he did to deserve it. Usually, ragging is done to a group and no one is singled out," said the officer.

It was the same with other military personnel interviewed.

All professed the character-building aspect of ragging and expressed concerns as to why Hazim had been singled out.

They all said ragging was done to groups of cadets and not individuals.

Another officer said: "For instance, if a cadet does something wrong, his seniors will rag his entire squad as a form of punishment. This is to teach camaraderie and teamwork. In war, the mistake of one person can be fatal to all the members of a squad, platoon or even the entire regiment.

"The fact that Hazim was singled out for ragging is unusual. Maybe he was a ‘hardcore’ case.

"Don’t be mistaken, I believe his treatment was too harsh. What I’m saying is, maybe, he is not totally blameless."

Yet another officer said what was done in training camps was not ragging but punishment to teach discipline to cadets.

"Military life is all about discipline and working as a team with fellow soldiers. Without these two things, you and those around you will fail.

"Cadets are punished for the smallest things because even the smallest mistakes can cost someone his life," he said.

However, this officer, too, agreed that what had been done to Hazim was out of the ordinary.

A senior officer attached to the Defence Ministry said ragging as a form of instilling discipline and esprit de corps in trainees was normal in training camps.

"It’s the military way of life. However, it is not practised in schools such as the Royal Military College, because although RMC is under the armed forces, it is still just a school and not the military," said the officer.

As many as 15 senior cadets of the camp are being investigated by the police and the RMAF for allegedly abusing Hazim.

Police will decide whether to take them to court while the RMAF, which has set up a board of inquiry, will decide whether to suspend or expel any of the cadets.

The board of inquiry is expected to take two weeks to complete its investigations.

RMAF chief Jen Datuk Seri Azizan Ariffin has spoken out against the treatment of Hazim.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also Defence Minister, said what the seniors did was despicable and unforgivable.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

[Malaysia] Air force cadets suspended in ragging probe

PUTRAJAYA: Royal Malaysian Air Force cadets involved in the ragging of a trainee at the Kepala Batas training college have been suspended with immediate effect.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said an internal inquiry which is on going is expected to be completed in two weeks time.

Although Najib declined to give details on the number of seniors suspended, it is believed that 15 seniors were involved in the incident as 15 cadets identified from the video footage gave statements to the police.

"I have left it to the Air Force to take the appropriate action. The Chief of Air Force have requested for two weeks to complete their board of inquiry to come out with a report and after that immediate action will be taken.

"I will give you all the exact number of people suspended later," said Najib who is also Defence Minister.

TV3 had on Tuesday in its prime news broadcast visuals of severe ragging on first year pilot trainee, Mohd Hazim Ahmad Azam, 19.

The recording, captured by another freshie on his camera phone, shows Ahmad being forced to drink his own vomit, place his head in a rubbish bin, soak himself in sewer water from a drain, among others.

He was also punched and kicked.

The incidents were alleged to have happened since last September at the trainees' hostel at the Tanah Merah Camp near Jitra, Kedah.

Najib added that if there is evidence that those responsible are guilty, they could be expelled from the college and subject to other forms of legal action.

Najib was speaking to reporters after witnessing Penang Shipbuilding and Construction Sdn Bhd ink a US$42 million (RM147 million) agreement to design, build, launch three chemical tankers for Malaysian based Gagasan Carriers Sdn Bhd.

Meanwhile, Bernama reports that police have begun probing the ragging following an order issued by the Kedah Prosecutor's Office on Tuesday.

Kubang Pasu police chief Supt Mohd Karim Abu said other trainees as well as the college officers might be called up to give their statements.

He added Kubang Pasu police had set up a six-member team headed by an investigating officer to probe the case which was reported by the victim's father, Ahmad Azman Ghazali, 46, at Jitra police station on Sunday.

Mohd Karim said police would be taking statements from Mohd Halim and Ahmad Azman Thursday.

Investigation papers would be submitted to the Public Prosecutor who would decide whether those involved would be charged in court, he said.

However, he said police would not interfere with the investigation conducted by the RMAF inquiry board.

[Malaysia] RMAF Chief Says Ragging Culprits May Face Military Court

ALOR STAR, Feb 21 (Bernama) -- The Air Force Training College trainees in Kepala Batas involved in the ragging of a junior may be brought before the Military Court or face a disciplinary action.

Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Chief Gen Datuk Seri Azizan Ariffin said the form of action to be taken against them would depend on the internal inquiry into the incident which was expected to be completed in two weeks.

"The inquiry panel comprises a major and two captains," he told a press conference, here Wednesday.

He said 15 year three trainees were being investigated in connection with the case and their statements had been recorded.

The inquiry would also identify possible weaknesses in the RMAF training, he said.

"If there were weakness, we will correct them so that cases like this will not recur," he said.

Azizan said the outcome of the internal inquiry would not be made public.

TV3 in its prime news at 8pm last Monday, showed a video footage of severe raging on Muhammad Hazim Ahmad Azman, 20, who was in his pilot training there.

The recording, which was captured by a colleague, showed him being slapped, kicked, punched, stepped on and made to crawl on his knuckles. He was also forced to place his head in a rubbish bin, soak himself in a filthy drain and undergoing other forms of abuse.

Azizan said the incident should not have happened because trainees of the college were trained with high discipline.

"I would like to stress that the RMAF will not compromise and will not allow cases like this happen again," he said and added that the RMAF felt disturbed with the incident.

"Like incidents involving the RMAF aircraft, the abuse case makes us feel disturbed. We want to know the cause.

"As far as I know, there have never been cases like this," he said.

On investigations by the police on the same incident, Azizan said it was different because the police conducted the probe from the perspective of a crime being committed.

"The RMAF will give full cooperation and will not disturb police investigations," he said.

Meantime, the 15 suspects would continue to follow classes as usual, he said.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

[Malaysia] No Compromise For Those Who Went Overboard In Ragging Case

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 (Bernama) -- The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) will make no compromises over the ragging incidents involving one of its trainees undergoing a pilot's course at the Air Force Training College in Kepala Batas.

Its public relations officer Mejar Zulkiflee Abdul Latiff said appropriate action would be taken against those involved and that the RMAf would also ensure such incidents would not recur.

"Preliminary investigations found several trainees to be involved in this case and any further developments on it will be communicated to the media from time to time," he said in a statement here Tuesday.

He said that the inquiry board comprising three senior RMAF officers set up to probe the case would be thorough in its investigations.

It would also recommend the action to be taken against the culprits when it completed the probe, which should be about two weeks, he said.

Monday, private television station TV3 in its prime news at 8 pm broadcast a digital camera recording of incidents of severe ragging of a trainee from the college, Mohd Hazim Ahmad Azam, 19, who is in his first year of pilot training there.

The recording, which was captured by a colleague, showed him being forced to drink his own vomit, place his head in a rubbish bin, soak himself in a filthy drain and undergoing other forms of abuse.

The incidents were alleged to have happened since last Sept at the trainees' hostel at the Tanah Merah Camp near Jitra, Kedah.


[SriLanka] Sri Lanka plans implementation of anti-ragging bill

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 12:56 GMT, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 20, Colombo: The Sri Lanka government is considering activating the Anti-Ragging Bill, which was passed in Parliament several years ago.

Minister of Higher Education Prof. Wishwa Warnapala, addressing media after the release of the Z-score cut off marks for university admission, stressed the need for implementing regulations related to the Anti-Ragging Bill. He said ragging in universities has increased to an unacceptable level in the recent past.

The government blamed the interference of political movements on university premises, who use ragging to influence newcomers to join them.

[NewsToday] Public meet on ragging

NT Bureau
Chennai, Feb 20:

The Committee headed by former director of CBI R K Raghavan will meet and receive suggestions from public on prevention of ragging at Hotel Savera on 22 February.

According to a press release, interested persons can attend and voice their suggestions and comments. The discussion would examine the aspects of ragging. The objective of the Committee is to prevent ragging and also take proper action against those who are indulging in it.

The Committee on ragging was formed by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development on 27 November, 2006.

Those who are unable to attend can forward their suggestions on or before before 26 February to the Director (Higher Education), Room No 522, C-Wing, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Shastri Bhawan, Dr Rajendra Prasad Road, New Delhi.

[Malaysia] Ragging footage given to police

JITRA: A 19-year-old Kolej TUDM trainee here was allegedly forced to swallow his vomit by his seniors in the third year at the academy as part of a ragging activity.

The trainee, Mohamad Hazim Ahmad Azman, claimed that he was forced to eat food with dried grass in it and drink drain water.

The footage, recorded on a digital camera by Mohamd Hazim's course-mate on Jan 27, showed 15 trainees pouring hot water on his body.

The victim’s father, who saw the recording when his son returned to their home in Taiping for the Chinese New Year holidays, accompanied his son to lodge a police report in Alor Star yesterday.

The case was referred to Jitra police, who now have the recording.

Kubang Pasu OCPD Supt Mohamed Karim Abu said the incident was being investigated.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

[IndianExpress] Ragging or Personal Dispute?


Ragging: A second year student of Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) course, Kitendra Dixit, was admitted to a local nursing home on Monday due to serious injuries sustained during ragging. However, the university authorities and police claimed that it was not ragging but personal dispute between the college students.

As per Kitendra, his senior (of sixth semester), Gaurav Tripathi and his friends thrashed him. Doctors at Navyug Nursing Home also informed that Kitendra’s hand was fractured.

[Telegraph] Crusade to put an end to ragging


Help is at hand for victims of ragging, courtesy an NGO.

The recently-formed state chapter of Coalition to Uproot Ragging from Education (Cure) has planned counselling sessions and treatment facilities to rehabilitate students affected by ragging.

On Wednesday, the NGO will hold an anti-ragging seminar at the AC Hall of the Book Fair. Two ragging victims — Rabindranath Das of Jadavpur University and Samir Swarnakar of Ayurvedic College — will attend the programme.

“We have also decided to publish an information booklet on ragging at the Book Fair. This will be part of our awareness campaign against ragging. The booklet will be distributed free,” said convener of Cure’s state chapter Kushal Banerjee. He is an intern at Sambhunath Pandit Hospital.

Cure was formed in Delhi in July 2001. Its West Bengal chapter was born in March 2006. The NGO has nearly 70 members, most of them students.

The Raghavan committee — set up by the Union human resource development ministry, on orders from the Supreme Court, to suggest ways to prevent ragging — accepted a report prepared by the NGO’s state chapter last year. National coordinator of Cure Harsh Agarwal submitted the report to the panel in New Delhi.

“Members of the Raghavan committee visited the Salt Lake campus of Jadavpur University earlier this month,” stated Banerjee. He defined ragging as traditional and systematic rights abuse, practised by seniors upon freshers in educational institutions.

“In Calcutta, ragging has, of late, entered schools. We have received complaints from parents of Class VI and Class IX students,” added Banerjee.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

[DNA] Centre takes students’ view to combat ragging

Bullies beware. The Centre has taken serious note of ragging incidents across country.

Following the November 2006 Supreme Court directive, the Union HRD ministry has formed a six-member committee to create a report based on suggestions gathered from students and faculty across the country on how to combat incidents of ragging.

Headed by RK Raghavan, former CBI director, the committee visited the SNDT University on Tuesday on a fact-finding mission. The committee feels the need to introduce a national legislation to curb the menace.

“Instead of different laws for different states, the country should have a common anti-ragging law as ragging is an issue of national importance,” Raghavan said. The committee has already visited states such as Assam, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. It will be visiting institutions in New Delhi, Jaipur, Cochin and Chennai in the near future. The committee report will be submitted to the apex court in April.

The committee gathered suggestions from students and principals of various colleges and professional institutions across the state, including IIT-Bombay, HR College, University of Pune and Nanded. Suggestions ranged from building independent hostels for freshmen, giving hostel wardens the authority to punish guilty students and allowing colleges to organise interactions between freshmen and seniors. “During the start of the academic year, seniors should prepare a newsletter for freshmen, informing them about the college’s rules and regulations,” said Madhav Welling, NM College principal. “This process paves way for formal introduction between freshmen and seniors, thereby discouraging ragging.”

While some students seemed apprehensive about expressing their opinions before the committee, others came forward, saying that students should be educated on the existing anti-ragging law by including it in the curriculum and the institution should set up an anti-ragging squad at each institution and penalise students breaking the law.

“Ragging is an harmful activity and should be discouraged,” said Raj Kusbe, a student of HR College. “Students involved in ragging are usually repeat offenders. The anti-ragging squad should act as a vigilant body, discouraging them.”

However, Raghavan added ragging had social fall-out. “It’s only students from influential families who are involved in ragging,” he said. “They try to lord it over those who come from lower-income groups. Also most hostels nowadays are outside the campus, and there is very little supervision. As a result, authorities fail to curb ragging.”


Pursuant to an order of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India dated November 27, 2006, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of Shri R.K. Raghavan (former Director, CBI) to look into the issue of ragging and suggest means of prevention in educational institutions. The composition of the Committee is as under:

1. Shri R.K. Raghavan Chairman
Former Director, CBI.

2. Prof. Sanjay Govind Dhande Member
Director, IIT, Kanpur

3. Dr. A.K. Agarwal -do-
Dean, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi.

4. Dr Rajendra Prasad -do-
Principal, Ramjas College, New Delhi.

5. Dr. Chandra Krishnamurthy, -do-
Vice-Chancellor, SNDT Women’s University. Mumbai.

6. Prof. S. Sathikh, -do-
Former Vice-Chancellor, Madras University, Chennai.

7. Shri Sunil Kumar Member- Secretary
Joint Secretary, Department of Education

The Committee primarily seeks to examine the following broad aspects of ragging: -
(a) Means and methods of prevention of ragging.
(b) Possible action that can be taken against persons indulging in ragging, and
(c) Possible action that can be taken against college/university authorities in the event of ragging.

The Committee will also examine and consider all aspects relating to the conduct of students indulged in ragging, such as aspects affecting the academic atmosphere in the educational institutions. The Committee proposes to hold public discussions on the above mentioned issues at Jaipur on 15th February, 2007 from 11.00 a.m. onwards in the Senate Hall, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur. All the interested persons may attend and may voice their suggestions and comments. Such persons are also requested to give their representations in writing.

In addition, the Committee hereby also invites suggestions from members of the public in respect of the above mentioned issues. All persons interested in this exercise may please provide their suggestions in a typed format not later than February 23, 2007 at postal address: Director (Higher Education), Room No. 522, C-wing, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Shastri Bhavan, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road, New Delhi. All suggestions and comments can also be E-mailed at anupamab@nic.in or ragging.edu@nic.in.

Department of Higher Education, Ministry of HRD
New Delhi; Magh,23,1928;February,12,2007


[NewKerala] Central Commitee for strict criminal laws against ragging

Bhopal, Feb 12: Voicing need for changing mindset of students about ragging, a Central Committee formed to suggest ways to end the practice today advocated framing of "strict criminal laws" against it.

Ragging should be completely banned. Centre and States should frame strict criminal laws to end the practice, Committee Chairman R K Raghavan told reporters after holding discussions with college Vice-Chancellors, Principals and students here.

The seven-member committee, formed after a Supreme Court ruling to suggest ways to end ragging in institutes of higher learning, was collecting inputs on every aspect of ragging by talking to various groups in different states, he said adding it will submit a report before the apex court in April.

Apart from advocating strict laws, the committee -- after visiting Assam, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh ahead of its visit to Rajasthan and Kerala -- believes that there was a need to change the mindset of students about ragging, the former CBI Director said.

To a query, he said ragging can be stopped to a great extent by appointing specially trained Wardens in college hostels, identifying hostels situated outside the teaching institutes where students reside and creating awareness among students.

Around 90 per cent of victims refrain from reporting ragging due to fear of senior students or of being boycotted, Raghavan said adding these students should be sheltered.

On steps against ragging in Madhya Pradesh, he claimed to be impressed by the "zero tolerance policy" adopted by the state and increased involvement of police in preventing it.

--- PTI

Sunday, February 11, 2007

[Hindu] Anti-ragging committee to focus on hostels

Parul Sharma

Embarks on tour to garner public opinion on the issue

NEW DELHI: The anti-ragging committee set up recently by the Union Human Resource Development Ministry will focus particularly on hostels of various educational institutions across the country that are often the hub of ragging activities.

"Apart from looking at the detailed aspects of ragging like why it happens and during what time of the day, we will also study why it is so prominent in medical and engineering colleges, especially hostels. It is quite well known that it is rampant in hostels. We want to put an end to that," says the Principal of Delhi University's Ramjas College, Rajender Prasad, one of the members of the Committee.

Former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director R. K. Raghavan heads the seven-member Committee. The Supreme Court last November had directed the HRD Ministry to constitute the committee to look into the nuisance of ragging. The Committee embarked on a month-long tour this past Monday and would be travelling to various cities and towns across the country to garner public opinion on the issue.

"We are clear about one thing that we have to stop ragging altogether. We will talk to the faculty, the students and see what can be done to prevent it. We will also examine the sociological and psychological reasons behind this menace," says Dr. Prasad.

The terms of reference of the Committee include studying various aspects of ragging, means and methods to prevent it, possible action that can be taken against those who indulge in it, and action against colleges and university authorities in the event of ragging. "We will examine what is the exact definition of ragging and how it is different from `hazing' that is the way of initiation in a social group in the United States and Canada," he adds.

The Committee will submit its report to the Supreme Court by April 4, the deadline fixed by the apex court. Other members of the Committee are: IIT (Kanpur) Director S. G. Dhande; Maulana Azad Medical College Dean A. K. Agarwal; SNDT Women's University (Mumbai) Vice-Chancellor Chandra Krishnamurthy; and former Vice-Chancellor of Madras University, S. Sathikh. The Central Department of Education Joint Secretary Sunil Kumar is the member-secretary of the Committee.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

[Hindu] Panel on ragging invites views from public

New Delhi, Feb. 9 (PTI): A committee formed by the HRD Ministry to look into the issue of ragging in educational institutions today sought public suggestions on the issue.

The nine-member committee, headed by former CBI director R K Raghavan, will broadly examine means and methods of ragging, possible action against the perpetrators and against the authorities of college or the university where such incidents come to notice.

Public discussion on the issue will be held in Bhopal on February 12 and the committee will take suggestions in verbal or written form, officials said. The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry on November 27 last had formed the anti-ragging committee following an order from the Supreme Court on the matter.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

[ExpressIndia] Centre for anti-ragging panel in educational institutions


Express News Service

Kolkata, February 6: The Anti-Ragging Committee constituted by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development under an act passed by the Supreme Court on November 27, 2006, has suggested that different universities, colleges and educational institutions form an anti-ragging committee that should not only have students’ representatives but should also be amply represented by guardians, parents and teachers.

The committee, chaired by R K Raghavan, former director of CBI, visited Jadavpur University and met the students and teachers today. Then the committee had an extended conference with representatives from different colleges and universities at Bikash Bhavan.

The committee also recommended that the various educational institutions should take the initiative to encourage an amicable relationship between freshers and seniors.

However, referring to a positive change, chairman Raghavan said, “In the last 20 years incidents of ragging has reduced to a great extent. This is because the authorities in the educational institutions have been taking extensive anti-ragging measures.”

The committee will be visiting all major metros in the country but the institutions to be visited will be fixed by the respective state governments. A cumulative report prepared by the committee on the basis of all the meetings and discussions in the cities will be submitted before the apex court in April. Yesterday the committee had visited Guwahati in Assam.

Earlier in the day, the committee held discussions with students and teachers at the Jadavpur University campus. When the committee members asked the students about any recent incidents of ragging, the students were fast to answer that no such incidents happen in either the JU campus or in the hostel.

On why was JU chosen as the preferred university for the visit, Raghavan said, “Jadavpur University is a prestigious and acclaimed institution and it does have a history of severe ragging. But now this place is a model of peace and harmonious relation that has developed between students and teachers. All institutions should take example from this place.”

The other members in the committee are Sanjay Govind Dhande, director of IIT Kanpur, A K Agarwal, Dean of Maulana Azad Medical College, Dr Rajendra Prasad, principal of Ramjas College, Chandra Krishnamurthy, vice chancellor of SNDT Women’s University (Mumbai), A Sathikh, former vice-chancellor, Madras University, and Sunil Kumar, joint secretary of the Union education department.

The committee has been constituted to formulate means and methods to prevent ragging. It aims at suggesting possible actions that can be taken against persons, or even the college and university authorities for ragging. It will consider all aspects relating to the conduct of students indulged in ragging which also might affect the atmosphere in educational institutions.

Among those present at the meeting at Bikash Bhavan were Nikhil Ranjan Banerjea, VC, Shibpur BE College, and Father P C Mathew, principal of St Xaviers’ College.

Monday, February 05, 2007

[NewIndPress] Case registered against two

Sunday February 4 2007 12:24 IST

KOLLAM: Kollam East Police have charged a case of attempt to murder against two persons recognisable to the girl who was a victim of SME ragging case, for the attack on her, which is said to have occurred the other day.

However, it is said that the chances of the girl being attacked inside the hostel of the School of Nursing of SIMS is nearly impossible as the hostel is heavily guarded during night time.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

[PeninsulaOnline] Ragging victim found with slashed vein

Web posted at: 2/3/2007 3:9:29
Source ::: The Peninsula

Thiruvananthapuram • A female nursing student, who had changed her college after being ragged, was found with a slashed vein at the SN Trust Nursing College hostel at Kollam, yesterday. The 19-year-old victim was out of danger, according to hospital authorities.

The second year nursing student told the police that unidentified assailants had attacked her in the hostel toilet around Thursday midnight. But the victim’s version was rebutted by her roommates who alleged it was a self-inflicted wound, possibly a suicide bid. The police said the hostel premises were secure enough that outsiders would find it difficult to sneak in without alerting the inmates.

The ragging incident at the School of Medical Education last year had kicked off a major controversy, first with the Opposition student unions unleashing a campaign against the “indifference” of the school authorities and later on account of the Court direction, asking the victim also to take a lie-detector test.

The Kottayam police had charge-sheeted nine persons, including six students, on the basis of their investigations and the complaint filed by the victim. The prosecution had charged Renjit Varghese, a senior student, with raping the student at the college, run by Mahatma Gandhi University.

The then Congress-led Government placed two officials under suspension, after which the college expelled the accused students.

On June 2 last year, Justice J M James of the High Court directed both assailants and the victim to subject themselves to scientific investigation, after noting discrepancies in statements made by the victim and parents. The new Left Government filed an appeal against the High Court’s verdict.

The judgment was significant since the higher judiciary in the country had laid down landmark judgments that allow the police to proceed in rape cases, taking the victim’s statement at face value.

Women’s organisations have held that the victim of rape should not be subjected further stress on the account of evidence-taking since she was already traumatised by the first tragic experience.

The victim hails from a poor family and had joined the graduate nursing course programme in the hope of landing an overseas job.