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Definitions of ragging
S N Medical College officials here have warned senior students that strict action would be taken in cases related to ragging. The college has put notices across the campus stating what gesture and words amount to ragging. Among them are what college authorities have called derogatory terms, such as `chashmish' for those who wear spectacles and `kalu' for dark-skinned persons.
The president of the anti-ragging cell at the college, Dr S K Katharia, told TOI, “Any act of physical or mental abuse including bullying and exclusion, targeted at another student, whether a fresher or otherwise, on the ground of colour, race, religion, caste, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, region, nationality, linguistic identity or others wil count as ragging.“ “If any student is found guilty of such acts, they can be suspended, rusticated, and removed from the hostel, have their results withheld or face a fine up to Rs 25,000 or higher,“ Katharia added.
The college official also said that the institution did not have a dress code for fresher students, and that seniors should be gentle in dealing with the newcomers.“We do not force any student to cut their hair very short, or wear uniforms or buy textbooks from a particular shop. Even senior students found instructing juniors to follow any dress code will be punished according to the rules,“ Katharia added. Dr Saroj Singh, principal of the college, said that anti-ragging teams had been formed and if any student was found harassing a junior, action would be taken against him or her.
The Times of India, May 30 2015
1,183 ragging cases, 66 FIRs in 2 yrs
Most cases are from UP: RTI reply
Of 1,183 cases of ragging reported to the University Grants Commission (UGC) from universities and colleges in 2013 and 2014 from across the country, the police filed an FIR in 66 cases. The highest number of cases were reported from Uttar Pradesh for three years in a row, from 2012 to 2014. In the absence of more detailed data on the complaints it was not possible to determine if UP has the highest number because of greater prevalence of ragging or being the most populous state, it has a larger student population compared to other states.
In 2013, the highest number of complaints were from Biju Patnaik University in Odisha and Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. In 2014, the highest number of complaints were from Aryabhatta Knowledge University and Gaya College of Engineering, both in Patna.
The data on ragging was revealed in a reply given by UGC to an RTI application filed by Rohit Kumar, a student of the School of Law in KIIT University, Odisha. “I had sought the information in December 2014 and I got a response only in May 2015.Such delay in replying is a contravention of the RTI law. I had applied through the online RTI portal on December 12 through email but the UGC office claims that it received my application only on April 30, 2015. Is an email delivered in 5 months?“ asked Rohit.
According to the RTI reply, UGC received 640 complaints in 2013 and 543 in 2014 and an FIR was filed in nine cases in 2013 and in 57 cases in 2014.
Rajendra Kachroo, father of ragging victim Aman Kachroo, felt it was not necessary to file an FIR in all cases. “If the university authorities can resolve the matter by punishing the guilty students with suspension or such measures, that is good enough. An FIR will just mean that the matter drags on. But in the small percentage of cases that are not settled, the UGC ought to intervene and exercise its authority over the colleges, which it does not do,“ said Kachroo. He added that a large number of complaints coming in from UP and Bihar could be because there was a lot of violence and lawlessness in the colleges.
A TOI report in September 2014 based on data from the National Anti-Ragging Helpline (1800-180-522) revealed that between June 2009 and September 4, 2014, there were 509 complaints of ragging from Uttar Pradesh, the highest, followed by West Bengal with 341 complaints.Other states with high number of complaints in the same period included Orissa (266), Madhya Pradesh (263), Maharashtra (150), Tamil Nadu (143), Rajasthan (142) and Bihar (132). Delhi had reported only 57 cases.
“The worst scenario is in the medical colleges. Despite there being just about 400 colleges, they are not able to stop ragging in these institutions. The Medical Council of India which regulates medical colleges has no interest in the issue and has done nothing about this problem so far,“ said Kachroo.
Incidents of ragging doubled in last 3 years, says Javadekar
The number of complaints of ragging in universities and higher educational institutions doubled in the last three years, human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar told the Rajya Sabha, citing data from the University Grants Commission.
The number of complaints of ragging received in 2015 were 423. The number rose to 901 in 2017. “Out of a total of 1,839 complaints of ragging received by the UGC during the last three years, students have been punished in 812 cases,” Javadekar said.