Tuesday, July 15, 2008

[ToI] Colleges target ragging with CCTVs, patrol

NEW DELHI: If Delhi University has its way, ragging may soon become extinct.

Colleges are going all out to stop it — setting up anti-ragging committees, giving out special numbers to students to lodge complaints, distributing booklets on the evils of ragging and sensitising students through the use of posters and lectures. And if that's not enough, the university has also, in association with the Delhi Police, ensured there's mobile patrolling, more pickets and two joint control rooms to monitor the campuses in the first few days of the new academic session.

Ragging is certainly the target in colleges like LSR and Ramjas, where authorities are planning to distribute booklets on the evils of ragging. This is besides the usual committees that will be set up to monitor student activity from Wednesday onwards, when college re-opens. Of course, if the committees don't seem enough, there's always the CCTVs that some college have put up. Hans Raj has, for the first time, set up four CCTV cameras to ensure that discipline is maintained, while Kirori Mal had already installed cameras last admission season. Said Hans Raj principal, S R Arora, "The measures are only in place to ensure no untoward incidents take place."

Off campus colleges too seem serious about anti-ragging measures. Said Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College principal, S K Garg, "There has been no ragging in our college for almost eight years now. As the students don't get ragged by their seniors, they do not rag their juniors either." Other colleges are preferring to increase awareness than put up strict arrangements.

Sunil Sondhi, principal, Maharaja Agrasen College, said, "We just make our students understand right on the first day that every person has a dignity that needs to be respected, not only in the first few days but through the three years that they spend in the college."

The university has also introduced many measures to ensure no ragging incident takes place. The steps, which have been made mandatory for all colleges, include restricted entry to both hostels and colleges, as well as setting up of a formal redressal system where students complaints are to be dealt with immediately. Hostels are to be kept under strict vigil, with the university asking colleges to ensure that regular and sudden inspections are made.

Colleges have been asked not to allow guests to stay in the hostel in the initial few weeks of reopening of the colleges.

Sealed complaint boxes will also be put up in colleges so that students can file complaints without revealing their identity.

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