Monday, November 12, 2007

[Hindu] Ragging: panel report to be implemented soon

Staff Reporter

Universities, colleges told to submit ATR

All colleges should set up anti-ragging committees

KOCHI: The Education Department will soon recommend the implementation of the R.K. Raghavan Committee report against ragging in all higher education institutions in the State.

The move comes in the wake of a finding that majority of the universities and colleges in the State had failed to implement the recommendations aimed at checking the growing menace on campuses.

Universities and colleges will be asked to submit an action taken report (ATR) on the steps being initiated on the campus to avoid incidents of ragging. Each college will be directed to set up an anti-ragging committee and an anti-ragging squad.

The anti-ragging committee at the level of the institution should consist of the representatives of civil and police administration, local media, non-governmental organisations involved in youth activities, faculty members, parents, students belonging to the freshers’ category as well as seniors, non-teaching staff and will be headed by the head of the institution. At the district-level, the committee recommended an anti-ragging committee consisting of the heads of higher education institutions as members. It should be headed by the District Collector/ Deputy Commissioner/ District Magistrate and should also have the Superintendent of Police/SSP of the district as member.
Preparatory meetings

The district-level committee should hold preparatory meetings during summer vacation to take stock of the state of preparedness of each institution and its compliance with the policies and guidelines of the appropriate bodies, the university/State/Central authorities and the apex court’s guidelines related to curbing ragging.

It is reliably learnt that majority of the educational institutions have not formed such committees on their campuses. The squad was supposed to have conducted surprise raids on hostels and other ‘hot spots.’ Barring a few initiatives, no major attempt has been made to launch such lightning squads in government and self-financing colleges in the State.

Lack of coordinated efforts between university officials and the police authorities are delaying the process of bringing justice to the ragging victims.

The Raghavan Committee report clearly pointed out that complaints or information with regard to ragging could be oral or written and even from third parties and the confidentiality of the source of information must be protected at all costs.

Sources in the committee said that remedial action should be initiated and completed within the week of the incident itself so that complaints do not linger on and allow either interest in pursuing the matter to wane or enable the culprits to tamper evidence or influence witnesses.

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