Friday, October 12, 2007

[ToI] Freshers get extra shield

12 Oct 2007, 0347 hrs IST,Nikhila Henry,TNN

HYDERABAD: Separate buses, separate messes, and staff doing the rounds to keep a protective eye on them. Yes, engineering colleges are going that extra mile to keep the freshers away from the seniors to prevent any incidents of ragging on campuses.

With the new academic year having begun, the administrative wing of many colleges are geared up to prevent ragging. Several colleges have segregated the juniors, including introduction of separate lunch timings so that students do not meet in the canteen or anywhere on the campus. In Vasavi College of Engineering and Nizam’s Institute of Engineering, separate buses are being used to ferry the freshers.

"We are plying separate buses for freshers so that even when they are not on the college premises there will not be any kind of ragging. The extra care is being taken as we do not want any student to be a victim of any kind of pranks," Vasavi College, principal, D Changal Raju said.

Vasavi College has even put the faculty on weekly duties to roam around in the college premises. They have been asked to keep an eye on the students, especially near the parking place, gate, college canteen and also the less frequented places by the students.

Though the college means well, such practices are not very popular among the students. Many students feel that regulations in meeting only increases the differences between various batches. "There will be no sense of unity among the consecutive batches. We will not be able to come together for any kind of competition or other events where the college has to be represented," said, a third year student of Vasavi College, Raghav Jhawar.

Raghav is confident that there will be no case of ragging in his college even if there aren’t any restrictions. However, the college administration feels that it is better not to take a chance and be on the safe side.

Apart from the general preventive measures, CBIT has even introduced separate mess for junior students where the seniors are not allowed. At least two faculty members are posted at the entrance of the mess. "We have staff who are on duty in the buses as well. Staff members stay put after college hours so that students do not stay back to rag," CBIT principal, B Chenna Kesava Rao said.

The freshers feel that though the institutions were going overboard with their protection they are happy with some of the arrangements. "It is nice to know that the college cares for us. We get a protected feeling," a fresher from CBIT, Sri Ramkishore said.

While the colleges are employing their own strategies to prevent ragging they are also trying to involve the police. The colleges have distributed pamphlets with phone numbers of the police.

They have also asked the police to stay put at public places near the colleges, including bus stops where there is a possibility of students to meet.

The restrictions in the colleges will continue till the freshers’ day where the first year students will be formally welcomed and introduced.

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