HYDERABAD: Stringent laws, firm steps, and the heightened media focus notwithstanding, the menace of ragging increased this year in educational institutions across the country, with Andhra Pradesh topping the dubious list followed by West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
According to a report released by the Coalition to Uproot Ragging from Education (CURE), the number of incidents reported has seen a three-fold increase in a majority of States, despite the Human Resource Development Ministry, the University Grants Commission and other regulatory bodies dealing with the issue severely.
The number of ragging cases reported in the media from July 2008 to June 2009 was 88; ragging deaths 12, and attempted suicides five. Last year, out of 89 cases reported, 11 ended in deaths while five were attempted suicides.
An analysis of the last five years’ reports indicates that Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh are the worst hit, with the first two recording 33 incidents each and the other 30.
In the last academic session, Andhra Pradesh reported 12 incidents of ragging, including four cases of death and one case of attempted suicide. West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh reported 10 incidents of ragging each.
Punjab, though a small State with fewer educational institutions, has consistently reported a high incidence.
Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan, which did not report any ragging case in the past, reported six and seven incidents this year. Kerala, which reported a large number of incidents in the past, successfully contained the menace this academic year.