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.

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