Monday, June 30, 2008

[SundayObserver] Legal framework on university ragging and establishing student unions

Every citizen of Sri Lanka, belonging to any ethnic group, race, religion or caste or any social position should come within the existing law of the country. The Penal Code, Civil Procedure Code and other statutory laws subject certain human activities into criminal or civil liability. These precepts ensure the right to life and the freedom to live for all citizens.

Further, the human rights of citizens of Sri Lanka are protected in terms of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka which is the supreme law in the country. According to this Constitution, any citizen can produce a petition to the Supreme Court in terms of the article 126 of the Constitution in case of a human right violation or a case closer to the infringement.

The Constitution further highlights ruthless, brutal or contemptuous treatment to any party by another as a violation of human rights.

University students are also considered as citizens and are subjugated to the Common Law that prevails in the country. Accordingly, the constitutional constrains specified above are equally applicable to university students. Any form of civil or criminal offence executed by them are liable to be punished and in an instance of violation of such rights committed by university students, they shall be produced before the relevant Court and subject to suitable punishment that followed by the trial.

University education is the outcome of free education. It is a privilege for being able to acquire higher education gratuitously for Sri Lankan students who complete their secondary education successfully. Each student entering the University/Higher Educational Institution should prioritize the idea of reaping the best harvest out of it.

The Government allocates about Rs. 15 billion per year out of the decentralized budget on university education and a considerable sum is allocated on students’ learning needs. libraries, and other service facilities as well as the welfare needs. The students should be mindful to utilize the maximum use out of the money spent and complete their education successfully to step into the society as responsible human beings.

However, there has been an apparent increase in ragging in recent times and other forms of violence in the university system. In contrast to its original idea of making it an entertaining process to befriend the fresher, it has gradually become a strategy to fulfil various mental, physical and political needs of a certain group of people.

This is not a phenomenon that can be accepted in any civilized society. It has been revealed that a considerable number of university students has dropped out due to physical and mental disability caused by ragging. As a result a Parliament Act namely,

Prohibition of Ragging and Other Forms of Violence in Educational Institutions Act, No. 20 of 1998 was passed.

As specified in the detailed note of the Act, it is identified as an Act to eliminate ragging and other forms of violent and cruel inhuman and degrading treatment from educational institutions.

In terms of the Act, ragging means ‘any act which causes or is likely to cause physical or psychological injury or mental pain or fear to a student or a member of the staff of an educational institution’.

The Act specifies the relevant Higher Educational Institutions coming under the Act and that includes all the Higher Educational Institutions established under the Universities Act No. 16 of 1978.

Provisions of the Act are as follows:

* Any person who commits or participates in ragging within or outside the Educational Institution, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and on conviction after summary trial be liable for a term not exceeding two years.

* The victim shall be paid a compensation of an amount determined by court in respect of the injuries caused to such person.

* If a sexual harassment or grievous hurt is caused whilst committing ragging the person is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years on conviction after a summary trial. In addition he may also be ordered to pay a compensation of an amount determined by Court to the victim.

* If the victim is threatened to cause injury to the person, reputation or property of some other person of whom the victim is interested, with the intention of causing fear in the victim or compelling the victim to do any act which the victim is not legally required to do, or to omit to do any act which the victim is entitled to do, shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction be liable for rigorous imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

* Any person restricting the personal liberty and the freedom of movement of any other person shall be guilty of an offence and be liable to rigorous imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.

*Any person unlawfully obstructing the right to proceed in any direction of another person shall be liable to the above mentioned punishment.

* Any person unlawfully restricting the other person from proceeding beyond certain circumscribing limits can be punished as stated above.

* Any person occupying premises of an Educational Institution by force without a lawful excuse or causing damage to any such property shall be on conviction after a summary trial and can be imprisoned for terms not exceeding 10 years and 20 years respectively and shall be liable to a fine as stated in the Act.

* In addition to the above mentioned punishments the convict can be expelled from the institution by the Court. (Article 8)
* A special provision of the Act is that, if a person suspected or accused of committing an offence of sexual harassment or causing a serious injury whilst ragging in terms of Section 2 of Subsection (2) of the Act in an Educational Institution, he/she shall not be released on bail expect by the High Court.
* The provisions of this Act shall be made effective in addition to the provisions of the Penal Code and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Act No. 22 of 1994.

The above mentioned provisions clearly explain that convicts are subjugated to severe legal constraints. It is evident that the main intention of laying down restrictions over the act of bailing out is to ban inhuman acts from Educational Institutions.

In addition to these provisions, in terms of by Laws of each Higher Educational Institution, action can be taken against those who engage in inhuman and violent acts by that Institution.

The steps which a victim can follow are!

1. Inform the authorities of the Higher Educational Institution; and

2. Pave the way to Police to take actions under the above mentioned ragging Act by lodging an entry at the nearest Police Station.

Accordingly, a convict is liable to be subjugated to the punishment under the Act and other forms of punishments and fines ordered by the Court in accordance with the other legal provisions. Further, it is emphasized that the studentship is automatically cancelled and naturally is subjected to disgrace and insult.

The provisions made under Part XIV of the Universities Act, No. 16 of 1978 on establishing Student Unions and other Association are as follows:

* Section 112:-

1. Each Higher Educational Institution shall have a University Student Union.

2. Each Faculty of the Higher Educational Institution shall have a Faculty Student Union.

3. Selection of office bearers of these Unions and their activities should be defined by the Councils of the respective Higher Educational Institutions through by-laws.

* Section 115: Any Higher Educational Institution may recognize any Union, society or other associations of students of that Institution for the purpose of furthering academic or social objectives, provided that the membership of such union, society or other association consists entirely of students of that Institution.

* Section 118: If any union or society to other association of a Higher Educational Institution conducts itself in a manner, which, in the opinion of the principal executive officer of that Institution, obstructs the proper administration of that Institution, or acts in contravention of the Universities Act or any other union, such principal executive officer may suspend or dissolve such union, society or other association, as the case may be.

* Accordingly, it is emphasised that the students of the Higher Educational Institutions are authorized to establish only the following unions/societies and other associations:

1. University Students Union,

2. Faculty Students Unions and

3. Societies formed for the sole purpose of furthering academic or social objectives as stated in Section 115 of the Act.

* Any person manipulating students in the guise of Student Unions or disturbing the Management of the Higher Educational Institutions/Institutes or obstructing the education of same are liable to be severely punished under the prevailing civil law and the by-laws of the Higher Educational Institutions.

* Finally, the students are warned that they should not use the above unions/associations to achieve political objectives.

[Telegraph] Fight against ragging, in cinemas


New Delhi, June 28: Updating your ragging arsenal for the new batch? Time to visit the nearest cinema.

Movie theatres will screen 20-second audio-visual clips from next month to discourage ragging, a vexing nation-wide phenomenon that has destroyed careers and pushed students into taking their own lives.

Top government officials told The Telegraph that anti-ragging advertisements would flash at movie theatres across the country from July, ahead of the coming academic session. Most colleges start new sessions in July or August.

But enter the show late, or slip out for popcorn during interval, and you could risk missing the ads. The messages — which sources said would include warnings to those contemplating ragging and also detail steps a victim can take — will be screened before the start of films and during the interval.

According to the Coalition to Uproot Ragging in Education (CURE), 52 cases were reported in the last academic session, including six that ended in suicides.

The Centre officially uses data supplied by CURE, the only non-government organisation that keeps track of ragging cases.

Some officials, however, say the first attempt by the government to use film screenings to spread awareness about the scourge may prove little more than a blink-and-miss campaign.

The move followed a tongue-lashing from a Supreme Court-appointed panel earlier this month, which blasted the human resource development ministry for “inaction”.

The ministry then finalised a Rs 6-crore media campaign through cinemas, television channels and newspapers.

“Till last year, we released messages only in newspapers. But we realised that our target group — college students — are more attracted to the audio-visual medium,” an HRD official said.

Sources said the messages, to be screened in theatres and on television channels, were ready last year, too, but couldn’t be implemented as the budget for the campaign prepared by the government’s Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) had not been cleared.

“But the audio-visual medium has its drawbacks... it is expensive, and messages vanish from the screen after 20 seconds, only to reappear after some time, unlike print,” a ministry official said.

Government officials, however, say this year’s attempt “is a start”.

“We have no choice. Most youngsters see television and movies more often than they read newspapers. And this year’s experience will only help us improve the campaign the next time round,” said a DAVP official involved with the campaign.

The government had got cracking after a directive from the apex court in a 2001 case. The HRD ministry appointed a seven-member panel, headed by former CBI director R.K. Raghavan, to work out a strategy to curb the menace.

The committee last year submitted its guidelines, which were upheld by the court in an interim order. The guidelines allowed a victim to file an FIR if his institute failed to take action against the offender.

The committee also asked regulatory bodies like the University Grants Commission and the All India Council of Technical Education to cut funding of institutions that didn’t investigate ragging allegations.

But neither the UGC nor the AICTE and other higher education regulators linked funding of institutes to implementation of the Raghavan panel guidelines.

At a meeting earlier this month at the HRD ministry headquarters in Delhi, Raghavan ordered the regulators to frame “detailed” guidelines to ensure that affiliated institutes followed the anti-ragging panel’s guidelines.

[NewIndPress] ‘Severe action against ragging’

Thursday June 26 2008 12:02 IST
D Daniel Raj

COIMBATORE: ‘Ragging will kill peace and joy.’ - reads the caption on a hoarding put at a private college on the outskirts of the city.

This academic year, colleges under the Bharathiar University (BU) have displayed hoardings and banners with the intention of putting the message across and curbing ragging on college campuses.

Along with the message, there is a warning and the punishment for those who indulge in ragging.

This is after the University Grants Commission (UGC), has come heavily on ragging and instructed all academic institutions to display such messages.

The boards are kept near the hostels and at the entrance to the college campus.

Some colleges have already held a meeting with the senior students and instructed them not to indulge in any ‘untoward incidents.’

The boards also mention the officials to be contacted along with their contact numbers.

In fact, the college prospectus or brochures should contain the number of ragging cases that took place on their campuses in the previous academic year and also the punishments awarded to them.

A source said that since the brochures were already printed,the direction from the UGC could not be included.

"We have put up three boards in prominent places, including one at the hostel, warning against ragging," said viceprincipal C K Venkatesh of CMS College of Science and Commerce, here, while talking to Express over phone.

"We have also obtained an undertaking from parents that their wards will not indulge in ragging," Venkatesh pointed out.

The first year students would be given the contact numbers of the heads of departments.

Vice-Chancellor of BU, Prof G Thiruvasagam, said all the colleges would be following the directive.

"In case of any ragging, the principal of the college will be held responsible as the Act on ragging is very powerful," Thiruvasagam said.

Accordingly, instructions have been given to all regulatory bodies like the UGC, All India Council for Technical Education and Medical Council of India for inclusion of a clause in the prospectus regarding punishment to students with expulsion etc, if found guilty of ragging.

[ToI] Kerala boy kin blame ragging for death

23 Jun 2008, 0254 hrs IST,
Ananthakrishnan G ,TNN

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A week after a student allegedly committed suicide at a famous theological seminary in Kerala's Kottayam district, his parents have come out with the claim that the boy was a victim of ragging. The seminary has denied the allegation.

"My son was not the kind of person who would take his life. I strongly believe he was a victim of ragging," Robin John's father C V John told TOI on phone from Kottayam. Robin had joined the Marthoma Theological Seminary on June 2 after a masters degree course in social welfare (MSW) at the Bangalore Garden City College.

"He was a brilliant student and had scored first rank in MSW. It was his desire to become a priest. But a week after joining the seminary, on the night of June 10, we got a call saying Robin had hung himself in his hostel room," said the grief-stricken father, who works in Dubai.

But what made him suspect it was not a suicide? "A day before the incident, Robin called home and said life at the seminary was difficult, but did not elaborate. Also we came to know that there was an incident of ragging in the college two years back and nine students were expelled," said John.

He added that there was one more reason for his doubt. "Robin's room was said to be broken open by inmates of the seminary, his body brought down and taken to the hospital. The explanation given to me was that this was done as they thought he may be alive. But ideally they should have called police," explained John. "Now claims are also being made that my son had some psychiatric problem. But his admission to the seminary itself was after rigorous medical tests at the mission hospital and there were no inconsistencies then."

Kottayam SP Mathew Polycarp said it was a case of suicide. "The post mortem report says Robin committed suicide." he said.

[Telegraph] School tips to block bullies


Reputed city schools have started counselling Plus II students to help them handle ragging in college and to ensure that they themselves don’t rag their juniors.

Ragging is rare in schools, but the authorities of many ISC and CBSE institutions feel that counselling sessions will stop students from taking part in ragging when they are in college.

“Some students have the tendency to bully others. We keep an eye on students of Classes XI and XII who show such an inclination. Special counselling sessions are also organised for these students. They are told about the consequences they will have to face if they rag juniors in college or university,” said the principal of St James School, Terence Ireland.

According to the school heads, the sessions will also help students deal with mental and physical torture by seniors in the first year of college.

Ragging has been banned by the central and the state governments. Colleges and universities in West Bengal have set up special committees to prevent ragging. Almost every college and university now takes a written undertaking from students during admission, stating that they will not take part in ragging. But such measures have failed to curb the offence.

Two students of Jadavpur University were punished last year for ragging a junior. A student of Bengal Engineering and Science University fell off a balcony of a hostel, allegedly while trying to escape being ragged by seniors.

School principals feel that regulatory measures are not enough.

“Students must learn to respect the dignity of others from a young age. We have decided to organise regular counselling sessions to sensitise senior students about human rights so that they do not rag juniors in college,” said Anindita Chatterjee, the principal of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

The Raghavan Committee constituted by the Supreme Court in 2002 to suggest ways to prevent ragging in educational institutions suggested to the government that the process of motivating students against ragging should begin in school. The panel’s views prompted some of the schools to start the counselling sessions.

“We have not received any complaint about any of our former students ragging juniors in college. Still, we have decided to incorporate chapters in our value education course to help students develop the habit of respecting others. These lessons will create awareness against ragging,” said Mukta Nain, the principal of Birla High School for Boys.

[IndiaEduNews] All India Council for Technical Education - Prevention of Ragging in Technical Institutions

Date of Issue: Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Prevention of Ragging in Technical Institutions

The Supreme Court of India in Writ Petition No. (C) 656/1998 directed that the ragging in educational institutions should be prevented and appropriate measures should be taken by AICTE for prevention of ragging in technical educational institutions.

Accordingly, the Council has published a circular in its website directing the technical institutions to ensure that the ragging does not take place in their campuses in any form and that if such cases are reported to the Council, necessary action including withdrawal of approval shall be taken. The institutions imparting technical education are advised to take necessary measures for prevention of ragging in any form in their campuses. Students, their parents and the general public are advised to report to the Council, instances of ragging in any form in institutions imparting technical education for taking appropriate action by the Council.

Institutions are further advised to insert a footnote that "Ragging is Prohibited as per the decision of the Supreme Court of India in Writ Petition No. (C) 656/1998" in all their advertisements. This warning must also find a prominent display in their prospectus/ brochure. -:

(Dr. K. Narayana Rao)
Member Secretary

All India Council for Technical Education



Ph : (011) 23724151-57
Website :

[DeccanHerald] Crack down on ragging: UGC

DH News Service, New Delhi:

Here is good news for first year students especially those who are scared to enter the campuses for fear of being ragged. Various regulatory bodies have issued instructions to colleges to take stern action against ragging.

If institutions have failed to end the menace on their campuses, they may have to lose their affiliation.

With the new academic year all set to start soon, regulatory bodies such as University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) warned the institutions to cancel their approval, if the ragging incidents reported on the campuses.

While the UGC has issued a circular to all universities to instruct the colleges to strictly follow the measures suggested by the Raghavan panel, the AICTE has issued advertisements in newspapers in this regard. The AICTE has asked students, parents and public to report to it instances of ragging in any form in institutions imparting technical education.

UGC reminded registrars of all universities that they and the colleges should mention in their prospectus or brochures about the total number of ragging incidents that had taken place in their institutions each year.

Strict measures
Following a directive from the HRD Ministry, the UGC asked the institutions to erect suitable hoardings, bill boards or banners at prominent places within the campus asking students to prevent or not to indulge in ragging.

The institutions were asked to indicate names of officials and their telephone numbers to be contacted in case of ragging. A committee headed by the former CBI director Raghavan set up by the Supreme Court to monitor the measures being taken to prevent ragging in higher educational institutions has suggested ‘zero tolerance’ towards ragging.

The committee had asked the statutory regulatory bodies to direct educational institutions to incorporate in admission notices appropriate messages in this regard. The panel also suggested that incentives be given by way of higher grants to institutions that ensured ragging in any form not taking place on their campuses.

The Supreme Court had six months back directed universities and colleges to mention in their admission prospectus that students found indulged in ragging would be expelled from the institution.

It said the guidelines for ensuring ban of ragging in universities/colleges, will also apply to colleges under the Medical Council of India (MCI), Dental Council of India, polytechnics and those institutes under the Ministry of Agriculture.

[IBNLive] What can we do?

Saturday , June 14, 2008

Whenever I hear of corruption at different hierarchical settings of the civilized world a strange uneasiness grips me.

Is it just the fault of a single person who is doing it or is it a social process set in motion by certain conditions. Is it inevitable or are we too busy to consider otherwise?

While pursuing the thought on this social dilemma I came across an interesting piece of article in CNN-IBN which described how in certain parts of Karnataka.

Which had plummeted below poverty line and were helpless are being revived with the powerful administration of the state government and through implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme which was perhaps the worst economic fiasco of UPA government in most parts of India.

So is the corruption really inevitable? I already see an exception to the argument.

It also nullifies any blind assumption of "political turmoils giving bureaucracy the power to do anything" as Karnataka has seen the worst of political scenarios among the Southern states in the recent times.

Although many may disagree with the subsequent argument but I feel it is more of our present social process of growth that molds the individual and its behavior to great lengths.

Take for example the start of all intimidation processes, the bullying at school or in the neighborhood.

How many children really put up a brave front in light of such events. They generally keep quiet, submit to the enforcer's wishes and try to pass by.

In some rare incident when they manage to tell the parents, the best you can do is talk to the parents of the bully and get him a light scolding or a "you are grounded for so and so days" kind of rhetoric.

Most parents don't even want to indulge in these child squabbles and spoil their time and reputation. The bully whenever he manages to get off from the last punishment decides to extract vengeance and acts on his minatory calls made earlier resulting in further demoralization of the victim and strengthening of the bully's might for he has now achieved the noble power of "consequences".

This is the most rudimentary form of naked dominance and strictly divides the society into two parts, the submissive ones and the enforcers.

The damn parents never try to solve the problem by encouraging the victim to stand up against its oppressor with double the courage with which he fell last time and neither make the bully realize that society responds to friendship and virtues in a far greater measure than petty acts of domination.

Courage need not be violence and non - violence need not be cowardice if used in the right way.

To stand against sure defeat and then rise from its own ashes as a phoenix and stand back even taller is courage.

Maharana Pratap was not courageous just because he was a good warrior rather he was courageous because he never bowed down before Akbar even though he had to lose his beloved daughter due to the harsh times.

The story just doesn't end here, it is rather the epilogue for what goes on in schools and then in colleges.

Who hasn't heard of the nefarious term "ragging" in his college life. Almost everyone out there has in some or other form always experienced it.

Even though I find multiple government and Supreme Court directives banning and condemning it but there seems no end to this heinous act.

Leave everything aside and take the case of top educational institutions like IITs.

Did people who belong to the top 1 per cent of academic minds of the nation give up ragging? Well according to official statements we despise ragging but on the inside authority turns a blind eye or is lazy enough to crackdown on it seriously.

It is all a big joke to them a casual affair and nobody seems to do anything to stop it. Although I admire the fact that in IIT Kanpur there is a very gentle standard of interaction with juniors compared to other colleges where physical violence and intimidation is the order of the day but it is still far from over and what does it really result in?

A broken individual who has been taught to submit to the wishes of the oppressor and if he can't do so he is either ostracized or brutally ridiculed and given public humiliation as a demotivation for further followers.

The word "consequences" again leaves a deep impact here. Can we as seniors never understand the concept of love and friendship rather than abuse an opportunity where we have the chance to shape the best of lives.

Does inflicting pain and being a sadist seem so irresistible that we forget the joy which we get in forgiveness and virtue. We say that we will treat the juniors in the same way as we had been treated because we also went through that same phase.

What are we and what are we creating? Puppets who will submit whenever somebody gets him in a tight spot.

Trust me people we are the fore bearers of our own destruction.

We are creating a blind army of submissive slaves as we were made by our seniors. And what do slaves do, they follow their masters.

Today you are the one but tomorrow when somebody else controls them it can be very well be used against you. These same bondages of consequences make people forget their humanity and turn a blind eye on crime when they are police officers.

These same people with no original thoughts later become politicians who just know how to work for their benefit. The only ideal they have learnt is being intimidated and in turn intimidating others for sheer personal benefit.

Use abuse and throw seems to be the flavor of our times and then these same puppets jabber around in dingy overcrowded Local train compartments or in the luxury of their air conditioned offices that " It's all society which is guilty you know.

We are ordinary people what can we do?" Well for starters go and get back your humanity which you lost a long time ago.

[ET] Ragging may become a thing of the past

15 Jun, 2008, 1017 hrs IST, PTI

NEW DELHI: First year students can hope to enter campuses without the fear of ragging if stringent measures suggested by an expert panel are implemented.

With the new academic session set to begin soon, various regulatory bodies like University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have asked the institutions to take necessary measures to check any form of ragging on their campuses.

While the UGC has issued a circular to all universities to instruct the colleges to strictly follow the measures suggested by the Raghavan panel, the AICTE has issued advertisements in newspapers for the purpose.

Besides warning the institutions that their approval would be scrapped if any case of ragging was reported, the AICTE has asked students, parents and the public to report to it instances of ragging in any form in institutions imparting technical education.

The Raghavan committee set up by the apex court to monitor the measures being taken to prevent ragging in higher educational institutions has suggested 'zero tolerance' towards ragging.

The committee, headed by former CBI chief K Raghavan, asked the statutory regulatory bodies to direct educational institutions to incorporate in admission notices appropriate messages in this regard.

Noting that ragging lowered the standards of higher education, the committee felt that release of grants under various schemes of the UGC should be linked with the compliance of Supreme Court directives by the institutions.

[NDTV] DU to expel ragging offenders

Sonia Sarkar
Saturday, June 14, 2008 (New Delhi)

According to new tough rules by the Supreme Court's committee, now any student found guilty of ragging will be expelled from Delhi University.

That's the recommendation of the Raghavan Committee appointed by the SC and it's likely to be approved.

''Students if caught ragging, will be expelled. This is a modification, and SC is likely pass a final order on this soon,'' said Rajendra Prasad, Raghavan Committee member.

Till now offenders were only being suspended.

Other problems revolved around the fact that students had to file an FIR with the police, which was often unresponsive.

''Students if they are victimised can go to police and the police will definitely help. So, we have informed Inspector General of police/Superintendant of police,'' said R K Raghvan, Chairman of the Committee.

Other anti-ragging devices include helplines for each college and 24X7 counselling in hostels and on campus with students and teachers.

''We will put number of CCTvs in the most vulnerable spots inside the college like hostel corridors, canteens, gardens etc,'' said There are other measures also, Rajendra Prasad, Ramjas College principal.

On record that's leading to a very politically correct atmosphere.

This is a much-needed reassurance for freshers.

''If seniors ask us to sing or dance, it is okay but I will not let them force me to do anything vulgar,'' said Sakshi, a DU aspirant.

In the last year, 70 cases of ragging have been reported from all over the country.

Most of them were not resolved and no action was taken, even inquiries weren't conducted.

This year, the onus is on colleges and on their leaders to prove to the apex court that they're serious about protecting new students.

[NewIndPress] Jail term for ragging

Friday June 13 2008 11:06 IST
Express News Service

T’PURAM: A youth was sentenced to six-and-a-half years imprisonment on Wednesday on charges of ragging his junior student at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital in 2001.

Shahid Mohammed, a native of Lakshadweep, who is now residing at Andaman, was sentenced by the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court-5 judge G P Jayakrishnan.

Out of the six-and-a-half year imprisonment, the convict will have to under go five-and-a-half years rigorous imprisonment.

The incident pertaining to the case occurred in October 2001. The prosecution case was that Shahid had forcibly subjected a first-year student Neeraj Kumar Gupta of Chhattisgarh to unnatural sex.

The incident occurred near the college hostel. Shahid was dismissed from the college following the incident.

[DNA] Govt for ‘zero tolerance’ approach to ragging

Vineeta Pandey
Thursday, June 12, 2008 03:04 IST

With the new academic session all set to begin, the human resource development ministry (MHRD) wants all institutions to become zero tolerance campuses in respect of ragging.

Following a meeting with the RK Raghavan Committee on ragging, the MHRD has asked all regulatory bodies like the University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Medical Council of India (MCI), Dental Council of India (DCI) and Nursing Council of India (NCI) to prepare specific and strict regulations to enforce anti-ragging measures in institutions under them.

The committee, appointed by the supreme court, took stock of the situation and reviewed the progress made by different regulatory bodies and other stakeholders who have been directed by the apex court to implement the recommendations of the committee on anti-ragging measures.

The ragging monitoring committee has suggested the government link the release of grants to institutions with the compliance of anti-ragging rules. Accordingly, institutes where cases of ragging are reported would face the threat of losing recognition and disaffiliation. On the other hand, institutes ensuring that ragging does not takes place in their campuses in any form may get incentives by way of higher grants. The committee also asked statutory regulatory bodies to direct educational institutions to incorporate in admission notices appropriate messages regarding ‘zero tolerance’ towards ragging. Wherever any incident of ragging is reported and institutions do not take adequate steps for redressing the grievance, regulatory bodies must conduct enquiries through fact-finding committees.

[Rediff] Universities to step up anti-ragging measures

June 11, 2008

With the new academic session about to begin, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all universities to take steps against ragging such as specifying the number of cases in the previous sessions and the punishments awarded in the brochures and prospectus.

In a communication to the Registrars of all universities, the UGC has also given the direction that the higher educational institutions should put up hoardings, billboards and banners in prominent places within the campus asking students to prevent and not indulge in ragging.

"The Committee set up by the Supreme Court to monitor the measures being taken to prevent ragging has now decided that along with the number of cases of ragging in the previous academic session, the punishments awarded to those found guilty should also be mentioned in the brochures/ prospectus of the higher educational institutions," it said.

The universities have been asked to mention the names and telephone numbers of the officials to be contacted in cases of ragging on the hoardings, billboards and banners to be put up.

The UGC said in the notice that the directions follow from the step following the Supreme Court expressing concern over the cases of ragging occurring in the universities.

Earlier, the Raghavan Committee, set up as per the directions of the apex court, had recommended that ragging be included as a special section in the IPC. The UGC has already issued directions to the universities in this regard.

The UGC notice also asked the institutions to undertake any other form of campaign to prevent ragging.

[ToI] Regulatory bodies have failed to check ragging: SC panel

12 Jun 2008, 0324 hrs IST,TNN

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court-appointed RK Raghvan Committee to monitor ragging in colleges has severely criticized regulatory bodies like University Grants Commission, All India Council for Technical Education and Medical Council of India for failing to regulate anti-ragging measures.

Speaking to TOI after a meeting on Wednesday, Raghvan said, "The committee is not exactly happy with the regulatory bodies. Instead of taking suo motu interest in implementing anti-ragging steps, they are acting more like a post-office." Raghvan pointed out, "In the US, every university declares the kind of crime taking place on the campus. It should be done in India also so that parents know how crime-free the campus is."

Underlining various reasons for the lacklustre performance of the regulatory bodies, Raghavan said, "Apart from having little machinery, regulatory bodies have become too close to educational organizations. They believe in tokenism. But I have told them in no uncertain terms to be proactive." He said the regulatory bodies should tell the colleges to adopt a zero tolerance approach towards ragging.

At the meeting, the committee told UGC to ensure that release of grants under various schemes is linked with compliance by institutions with the directions of the Supreme Court on ragging. On the other hand, institutions where no ragging takes place should be provided incentives. The committee told regulatory bodies that the SC is solidly behind them and therefore no effort should be spared to put an end to the menace.

The committee also asked the regulatory bodies to ensure that wherever any incident of ragging is reported and the institution does not take adequate steps for redressing the grievance, they (regulatory bodies) should conduct an inquiry through a fact-finding committee.

The HRD ministry has also been asked to come out with advertisements in the next few weeks as the admission season has begun. "There is no half-way house. The advertisements should make it clear that those who indulge in ragging would be thrown out of their institution. Parents of students should know it now."

[CalcuttaNews] Universities asked to print ragging statistics in prospectus

Calcutta News.Net
Wednesday 11th June, 2008 (IANS)

Taking a strong view on incidents of ragging in educational institutions, the University Grants Commission (UGC) Wednesday asked the universities to specifically mention in their brochures and prospectus ragging cases and punishment awarded of those found guilty.

The UGC has also asked universities and other higher educational institutions to put up hoardings, billboards and banners within the campuses, urging students to prevent ragging. It has also asked universities to undertake other means to campaign against ragging.

Earlier, the Raghavan Committee, set up on the directions of the Supreme Court, had recommended that ragging be included as a special section in the Indian Penal Code. The UGC has already issued directions to the universities in this regard.

The committee had also decided that along with the number of cases of ragging in the previous academic session, the punishments awarded to those found guilty should also be mentioned in the brochures and prospectus of the higher educational institutions.

'The UGC is following the committee's decision to prevent ragging,' said a senior official in the union human resource development ministry.

[Telegraph] Squad-watch on ragging - Colleges in the state capital get ready to tackle jitters of juniors


Ranchi, June 4: College students would be under surveillance soon.

Jitters accompany junior students as they enter college for the first time; least they fall in the hands of seniors looking for fun in the name of ragging.

Colleges in the capital, however, are getting ready to tackle the menace prevalent in institutes across the country.

Each college in Ranchi has formed an anti-ragging squad to catch senior students indulging in ragging. The guilty would be handed over to the respective college’s anti-harassment cell for punitive action.

Colleges have also mentioned in their prospectus that students found ragging would be punished, as per UGC directive.

The anti-ragging squad would comprise four teachers and two students. They would keep a watch on classes, corridors and even hostels to keep ragging out of the campus.

Javed Ahmed, the principal of Marwari College, said newcomers find attending classes difficult due to ragging. This made them decide to form anti-ragging cells for girls and boys.

“Our college website talks about the anti-harassment cell and the anti-ragging squad so that the new students are aware of the situation. The informant would be displayed near the gate and on the notice board,” he added.

Principals said the steps would hopefully act as a deterrent to ragging.

The chairman of the boy’s anti-ragging squad at Marwari College, R.L. Ram, said many cases of ragging were reported last year.

“This year, our motive is to receive such cases and take corrective measures accordingly.”

The anti-ragging squad would also rope in parents to curtail ragging. “We will complain to the parents and after consulting them, will warn the students. If the youths do not stop such acts even after that, then they would be suspended,” Ram added.

Principals said rustication is also a punitive option.

Father Nicholas Tete, the principal of St Xavier’s College, said he has issued a notice to students asking them to refrain from ragging “so that newcomers feel at ease”.

“If senior students do not follow the rule we will call their parents and hand over punishment to the offenders,” he added.

Doranda College principal Ram Parvesh said they have mentioned in the prospectus that ragging was not welcome in the college.

“We have also formed a disciplinary committee to see that newcomers are not troubled,” he added.

[ToI] 'Students found guilty of ragging will be expelled'

4 Jun 2008, 0530 hrs IST,TNN

LUCKNOW: The proctor of the Lucknow University on Tuesday issued series of instructions directing senior students not to indulge in any kind of harassment or ragging with the juniors or candidates coming for admissions.

The circular issued by the proctor also called upon the juniors to report any incident of harassment to the head of the department or at proctor office without fear. It also asked candidates seeking admissions not to get swayed by people promising out of way admissions. "The admissions would be strictly on merit and no other recommendation would be entertained," said proctor AN Singh.

The proctor also said that students found guilty of ragging would be expelled from the university and an FIR would also be lodged against them. Students have also been asked not to use any kind of psychotropic substance on the campus. Even chewing pan masala and smoking are prohibited. Outsiders are not allowed on the campus.

[ExpressIndia] UGC formulates norms to prevent ragging

Lalmani Verma
Tuesday , June 03, 2008

Lucknow, June 02 In its bid to make universities follow the directions of the Supreme Court and the government against ragging in institutions, the University Grant Commission (UGC) is framing certain regulations to impede such practices in colleges.

UGC Secretary AK Chauhan said on Monday that the commission has also constituted a committee to frame regulations. Chauhan was in the state capital to take suggestions from teachers and government officials for the revision of pay scale of teachers in higher education.

“Guidelines both from the apex court and the government against ragging already exist. But to ensure their effective implementation it is necessary for educational institutions to follow them. To take up this task, the UGC has constituted a committee.”

The committee will submit its recommendations to the UGC within a month. “These regulations will be operational from the new session starting in July,” said Chauhan.

Also, UGC is planning to introduce certain guidelines for the central as well as state universities to put a check on the increasing fee structure of the higher education institutions. “There are number of universities and colleges, both aided and unaided, which are charging huge amount of fees while at the same time, some colleges are not able to even provide necessary facilities to its students due to lack of funds,” said Chauhan. He added that a Fee Regulations Committee has been constituted to go into this matter.

“Deliberations are on. There are possibilities that some institutions would have to cut their fees while some other could be recommended to hike their fee structure,” said UGC secretary.

Earlier, Chauhan, as secretary of the Pay Review Committee (PRC) met the vice-chancellors of universities and other senior academicians to seek their suggestions for a revision in pay scale of teachers. PRC will hold meetings with academicians across the country and submit its report to UGC by September. UGC will forward that to Central government for final decision.

[Hindu] Anti-ragging drive to be stepped up

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Anti-ragging drive on campuses in Ernakulam will be stepped up from the new academic year, thanks to the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) recent missive to Mahatma Gandhi University.

The university has been asked to submit a compliance report on the anti-ragging measures taken by them.

In a circular, the UGC made it clear that representatives of universities that fail to comply with the directives may have to appear before the Supreme Court in this context.

The decision came after the UGC found that the majority of the educational institutions are yet to implement the recommendations of the R.K. Raghavan Committee against ragging.

The circular also pointed out that the Raghavan Committee had taken a “serious view” of the slow progress being made in implementing these measures.

The committee directed every institution to have an anti-ragging committee and an anti-ragging squad at the earliest.
Surprise raids

The anti-ragging committee should consist of representatives of civil and police administration, local media, non-government organisations involved in youth activities, faculty members, parents, students belonging to the freshers’ category as well as seniors, and non-teaching staff and it should 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 a member.

It is learnt that the majority of educational institutions have not formed such committees on their campuses. The squad is supposed to conduct 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 district.

Several colleges have failed to engage or seek the assistance of professional counsellors at the time of admissions to counsel freshers in order to prepare them for the life ahead, particularly for adjusting to the life in hostels.

[NewIndPress] Ragging incidents: Rights panel to issue notice to Pushpagiri

Thursday May 29 2008 11:32 IST

Express News Service

PATHANAMTHITTA: The State Human Rights Commission will issue notice to the Pushpagiri Medical College management on the issue of ragging incidents.

Commission member A Lakshmikuttiamma, at a sitting here on Wednesday, decided to issue notice on a complaint by Human Rights Protection Council secretary Samuel.

In his complaint, Samuel said the council received a complaint given by MBBS first year student John Abraham, Tharayil, Pachalam, Kochi, that he was subject to ragging by senior students in February.

He was admitted to Ernakulam General Hospital on February 28 due to the severe ragging, Samuel said in his submission.

John Abraham complained that the college authorities had not initiated any steps against the senior students.