Hyderabad: The new academic year has commenced. However, despite several initiatives being undertaken by the State government and universities, ragging in colleges continue to haunt students.
Just a couple of days into commencement of the academic year for engineering colleges, one case of ragging have been reported to the University Grants Commission’s Anti-ragging Cell by a student of an affiliated college of Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University-Hyderabad.
Close to 40 ragging cases were reported from the State since 2009 and last year, three such cases came to light. Though very few cases are being reported from the State compared to other Southern states like Tamil Nadu (165 cases), Kerala (151) and Karnataka (139), the issue still remains worrisome among students here.
According to UGC regulations, any disorderly conduct whether by words spoken or written or by an act or handling with rudeness a fresher or a junior student amounts to ragging.
Expanding the definition of ragging, the UGC regulations state that ‘any act of physical or mental abuse targeted at another student on the ground of colour, race, religion, caste ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, nationality, regional origins, linguistics, identity, place of birth, place of residence or economic background’ amounts to ragging.
The UGC has come up with a multiple-pronged approach to make campuses free of ragging. All colleges were directed to constitute anti-ragging committees, anti-ragging squads, anti-ragging cells and the UGC wanted the managements to give adequate publicity on the measures being taken against ragging.
Apart from installing CCTV surveillance cameras at vital points in colleges and hostels, the UGC made it mandatory to get undertakings from every student and parent against ragging.
College managements were instructed to conduct surprise inspections at hostels, canteens, rest-cum-recreation rooms, toilets and even bus-stands to prevent ragging. While listing out measures to curb menace, the UGC warned of punitive action against colleges for violating any regulations or failing to take adequate steps to prevent ragging on campuses.
Students who are in distress due to ragging related incidents can email to [email protected] or contact on the national anti-ragging helpline 1800-180-5522 which will be operational round the clock.
Students can contact on 1800-180-5522 for reporting ragging incidents.