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T H E M E N A C E O F
R A G G I N G INE D U C A T I O N A L
I N S T I T U T I O N S ANDM E A S U R E S T O
C U R B I T

R e p o r t o f t h e C o m m i t t e e
c o n s t i t u t e d b y t h e
H o n ‟ b l e S u p r e m e C o u r t o f I n d i a
I n S L P N o . 2 4 2 9 5 o f 2 0 0 6 .
C o n t e n t s F o r e w o r d i - i i i 1

B a c k g r o u n d 1 - 2 2

M e t h o d o l o g y 3 - 8 3

S t a t u s o f a n t i - r a g g i n g m e a s u r e s 9
- 2 5 4

O b s e r v a t i o n s o f t h e C o m m i t t e e 2 6
- 4 5 5

R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s 4 6 - 7 1 6

A n n e x u r e
I Copy of the Notification constituting the CommitteeII Final
Composiion of the CommitteeIII Notes of the meetings of the
CommitteeIV Results of the Survey among studentsV Report of
the Group of ConsultantsVI Sample Media ReportsVII Status Note
from the University Grants CommissionVIII Comparison of State
LawsIX Incidents of ragging reported in the print mediaIXA
Analysis of reported incidents of ragging.

F o r e w o r d
If education, and particularly Higher Education, is to serve asthe
lever to the great surge forward of the Indian nation, the
scourgeof ragging which corrodes the vitals of our campuses
needs to becurbed. Appreciating this, the Hon‟ble Supreme Court
of India waspleased to direct us to give suggestions on the means
of prevention of ragging in educational institutions. We feel
privileged to submit ourreport on the menace of ragging and
measures to curb it.When we embarked on this task, we did not
anticipate theoverwhelming response and the enormous interest
that would begenerated by this topic. Interviews and interactions
with academics,students (including victims of ragging), parents,
teachers,administrators, employees of universities and colleges,
civil society activists, psychologists , sociologists, legal experts,
media persons,political representatives, office bearers of student
organizations andstatutory authorities, representatives of State
Governments and localauthorities – the list is long – helped us in
understanding theenormity of the challenge.Although we were
granted a time-frame of four months tosubmit our report, and
indeed it was possible to do so with thesecondary evidence
available to us, we express our gratitude to theHon‟ble Supreme
Court for granting us the liberty of an additionalfour weeks so that
we could incorporate an interesting analysis of thesurvey of
responses from over ten thousand students. Even at thetime of
giving finishing touches to this report, many more
responsescontinue to pour in.We are not the first Committee to go
in to the question of ragging. The issue has been studied in the
past. Institutions of highereducation are also bound by the
directions/ guidelines of the Hon‟bleSupreme Court in the “Vishwa
Jagriti Missions” matter. However, theproblem has not abated,
which is why we had to look into the reasonsfor the problem of
ragging continuing to persist in our campuses. We
cannot claim that we have fully understood all aspects of
theconstraints that need to overcome; yet the following emerge
from ourexercise, which may have a reasonable potential to
change thesituation:


Primary responsibility for cubing ragging rests withacademic
institution themselves


Ragging adversely impacts the standards of higher education


Incentives should be available to institutions for curbing
themenace, there should also be disincentives for failure to doso


Enrolment in academic pursuits or a campus life should
notimmunize any adult citizen from penal provisions of the lawsof
the land


Ragging needs to be perceived as our failure to inculcatehuman
values from the schooling stage


Behavioral patterns among students, particularly
potential„raggers‟, need to be identified


Measures against raging must deter its recurrence


Concerted action is required at the level of the school,
highereducational institution, district administration,
university,State and Central Governments to make any curb
effective


Media and the civil society should be involved at all stagesThe
report contains several specific recommendations based on
ourobservations and analysis; many of which we hope would be
usefulfor implementations and direction by the Hon‟ble Supreme
Court of India. A report of this scope would not have been
possible without thesupport of a large number of willing and
committed persons andhelpful institutions. It is not possible to
name all of them here.However, we would be failing if we did not
acknowledge the valuabletime spared by all those who attended
the interaction sessions with

the Committee across eleven cities. We would also thank Prof.
ArunaBroota, Dr. Tanvir Aeijaz and Dr. Rajesh Jha, all of the
University of Delhi, Dr. Anupama Bhatnagar of the Ministry of
Human ResourceDevelopment, the coalition to uproot Ragging
from Education(CURE), the society for people‟s Action Change
and Enforcement(SPACE), the Educational Consultants India
(Ltd.) and the IndianInstitute of Technology , Kanpur for all their
help.Submitted, this 7
th
day of May, 2007
1 . B a c k g r o u n d
1.01

In Special Leave Petition No. 24295 of 2006, University of Kerala
vsCouncil of Principals of Colleges [with SLP (C) No. 24296-24299 of
2004,W.P. (Crl) No. 173/2006 and SLP (C) No. 14356/2005], the
Hon‟bleSupreme Court of India was pleased to direct that a
Committee headed by Shri R.K.Raghavan, former Director,
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)be notified to give
suggestions on means of prevention of ragging ineducational
institutions. A copy of the notification No. F.9-98/2006.U-5dated
the 5
th
December, 2006 is at
A n n e x u r e I
. In accordance with theorders of the Apex Court, the Committee
nominated by it further nominatetwo other members – one each from
the southern and western regions.The full composition of the
Committee, after the said nominations is at
A n n e x u r e I I
.1.02

The terms of reference (TOR) of the Committee were to study the
variousaspects of ragging; to suggest means and methods of prevention
of ragging; to suggest possible action that can be taken against
personsindulging in ragging; and, to suggest possible action that can be
takenagainst college/university authorities in the event of
ragging.1.03

In its Interim Order of the 27
th
November, 2006, the Hon‟ble SupremeCourt of India expressed its
dismay that notwithstanding the concernshown by it in Vishwa Jagriti
Mission through President Vs. CentralGovernment through Cabinet
Secretary and Ors. (AIR 2001 SC 2793),“practically very little has
been done to prevent the menace of ragging ineducational
institutions”. The Apex Court expected the present Committeeto
make the recommendations “as to how the provisions already
enactedin several States and Statutes to be framed to prevent the
menace, caneffectively eliminate the menace.”1.04

The Committee was required to submit its Report within four months
i.e.by the 5
th
April, 2007. However, it had to request the Hon‟ble Courtthrough
the Ld. Additional Solicitor General of India, Shri Gopal
Subramanium, to extend the date of submission by another four
weeks –the additional time was needed by the Committee to
collate and analyseseveral thousand responses it had received
from students and institutionsall over the country.
2 . T h e M e t h o d o l o g y
2.01

The Committee decided to base its report both from primary as
well assecondary sources of information. The obvious stake-
holders identified by the Committee were : NGOs working in the field of
the anti-raggingmovements, student victims of ragging and their parents,
students accusedof ragging and their parents, other parents, teachers
and hostel wardens,Heads of institutions, authorities of universities,
students - „„„freshers‟‟‟aswell as senior students, representatives
of the student bodies,representatives of state and central government,
press and mediarepresentatives, and other members of the general
public.2.02

It was decided to consult with all cross-sections of stake-holders
throughinteraction at different state capitals broadly
representative of the regionalvariations across the country.
Accordingly, the Committee visitedGuawahati, Kolkata, Bhopal,
Mumbai, Jaipur, Kochi, Chennai, Patna,Lucknow, Hyderabad and
Bangaluru. The Committee also met forconsultations on two
occasions in Delhi with NGOs and experts.
A n n e x u r e I I I
gives minutes of the interactions at the places visited by the
Committee. Indeed, the Committee benefited from these
interactions –in particular, in understanding the reasons for the
inability to root out themenace of ragging and associated corrupt
practices from our highereducation system.2.03

A questionnaire was designed in consultation with experts –
theCommittee places on record its appreciation of the valuable
inputsreceived from Prof. Aruna Broota, a leading clinical psychologist
andProfessor at the University of Delhi in designing the
questionnaire. Thequestionnaire was sent to all Universities recognized
under the UGC Actwith the request to forward it to all affiliated or
constituent Colleges underthem. There was an overwhelming
response to the questionnaire(numbering over 12500 in all), paucity
of time has not permitted us toanalyze all of them and as many as
10470 responses could be analyzed.
Results of our analysis is given as
A n n e x u r e I V
. The Constraints of timehas not allowed us a more elaborate survey
on all possible dimensions fora better understanding of issues
involved, for example, whether the type of institution, the nature of
programmes of study, the geographical location,the socio-
economic background of students, the gender etc. would
makeany difference to the outcomes. The Questionnaire was
deliberately keptsimple and, as professionally advised, we had
requested institutions andrespondents to maintain anonymity. The
questionnaire comprised of twocategories of questions – four of
them were qualitative in nature and theremaining seven were of
an objective variety. The Qualitative questionssought information on
the significance attached by the respondents totheir first few days in the
college as well as in the hostels, and theirexpectations from their new
institution as well as from their seniors.Questions seeking objective
responses dealt with the manner of makingnew friends, initiative in
making friendship with strangers, reaction tobeing bullied,
propensity to seek attention, willingness to handle
abusedrelationship, and the desirability of laying down guidelines
for definingmanner of interaction between seniors and 'freshers‟.2.04

A web page was specially created by the National Informatics Centre at
thewebsite of the Ministry of Human Resource
Development(http://education.nic.in/feedback/guestbook.asp) for
interaction with allcross-sections of the public. Similarly, all
sections of the public wereinvited to respond with their views in
regard to “ragging” in the light of theterms of reference of the
Committee through Press Note hosted also at theweb site
(http://education.nic.in/pressnote.pdf ). As many as eleven
„PressNotes‟ were released in leading news papers one each
preceding the visitundertaken by the Committee for its
sittings.2.05

The Committee also benefited from presentations by Non
GovernmentOrganizations – though there are very few of them
dedicated to any serious campaign against ragging. CURE (Coalition to
Uproot Raggingfrom Education), a non government initiative on the
part of a few
dedicated young persons who, as students, had personally
suffered onaccount of ragging started as a web based discussion
group in July, 2001.CURE, through its web
sitewww.noragging.comand Blogwww.noragging.blogspot.comactively
canvassed feed back and relatedassistance. It also made
available to the Committee the findings of the“CURE
Comprehensive Research Report”.2.06

CURE, in its report, delineates the problematic of ragging and
tries to findout possible solutions. The report has dealt with
definitions andconceptualization of the problem. It defines ragging
by identifying themenace with three kinds of abuse: verbal,
physical and sexual. Theproblem is analyzed from various dimensions
such as psychological, groupdynamics, sociological, stereotypes and
so on.2.07

The report also deals with the current extent of ragging, focusing
mainly on the methodology, the extent, the outcomes and the
place of ragging.Through a random sample survey taking 64 ragging
cases reported since2005, and classifying these cases into five
categories viz – physical,physical and sexual, sexual, verbal and
„not known‟, the report debunks thepopular myth that sexual and
physical ragging is no more prevalent afterthe Supreme Court
judgment of 2001. It also questions the oversimplifiedargument that
ragging is an ice-breaker for the „fresher‟ and claims thatragging is not a
harmless fun, but cuts deep into the mental health of theragged. It breaks
several stereotypes prevalent in the society about theragging. The
CURE report tries to underline the fact that the stakeholderssuch
as seniors, „„freshers‟‟, college/university authorities, law
enforcingagencies, media and other social organisations, civil society
groups mustbe collectively involved in eradicating this malaise.2.08

In its approach to solutions, the CURE report has identified the
core issuesto be denial of ragging, lack of clear guidelines, complete
helplessness of „„freshers‟‟, casteist and regional colouring of
incidents, among others . Itrecommends establishment of central
department and guidelines tocolleges, sensitizing through education
particularly sex and legal education
and solving the problem of denial, and support to victims and anti-
raggingorganizations.2.09

Society for People‟s Action, Change and Enforcement (SPACE) is
also aNon Government Organization engaged in advocacy and
researchcampaign to curb ragging since May, 2004 through both field
basedinteraction with institutions & victim students as well as over
the
internet(www.stopragging.organdhttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopra
gging). The Committee benefited from the presentation made by
the SPACE,which debates the issue of the definition of „ragging‟
and focuses on thenature and the implications of the Hon‟ble
Supreme Court‟s definition of ragging in the Vishwa Jagriti Mission
matter [W.P. (civil) No. 656 of 1998]. Incorporating various aspects in the
parameters of ragging theSPACE report recommends a uniform law
against ragging to be enacted by the Parliament; to establish one or more
full time anti-ragging cells at thecentral level; anti-ragging cells to start
„Helplines‟; and to arrange for thecounselling of the victims. SPACE
advocates that a monitoring mechanismshould be put in place to
enforce compliance with the Supreme Courtguidelines and the
relevant applicable laws. It also recommends that eacheducational
institution should present to the National Assessment andAccreditation
Council, an annual report about the compliance with thestatus of
ragging in their institutions including the number and nature
of ragging related complaints. This Committee acknowledges the
assistanceprovided by the two Non Government Organizations,
CURE and SPACE atvarious stages of its work assigned by the
Hon‟ble Supreme Court of India.2.10

On behalf of the Committee, a Group of six volunteer consultants
withexposure to issues of campus based ragging, whose names
andrecommendations are given at
A n n e x u r e V
, were also engaged to gothrough the mass of feed-back received
in response to the Press Notesissued on the web site of the
Ministry of HRD on behalf of the Committee,and to come up with
recommendations of value for the consideration of the Committee.
Based on the feed back received from various stake-holders, the
Group concluded that ragging obtaining in educational
institutions is neither a means of familiarization nor an introduction
with„„freshers‟‟, but a form of psychopathic behaviour and a
reflection of deviant personalities, which reproduces the
entrenched powerconfigurations prevalent in the civil society. The
Group also observed thatthe majority of abusive ragging is
focused on the genital area and takes onsexual forms, leading it
to comment that ragging is also a manifestation of widespread
sexual repression in our society. Urgent steps need to be takento
address the above areas. Boarding schools and especially
seniorstudents need to be brought into the ambit of any move which
wishes tocheck/prevent/ban ragging, as various kinds of bullying and
sexually abusive behaviour, for instance, sodomy, originates at an
early age.2.11

The Committee also consulted with the Secretary of the University
GrantsCommission, Member-Secretary of the All India Council of
TechnicalEducation and the Secretary of the Medical Council of
India. A brief account of the submissions made by these statutory
regulatory bodies hasbeen included in this Report at the
appropriate place.2.12

Presentations were made at New Delhi before the Committee by
expertsfrom the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE –
represented by its Secretary), National University of Education
Planning andAdministration (NUEPA - represented by its Vice
Chancellor), NavodayaVidyalaya Sangathan (NVS – represented by its
Director), VidyasagarInstitute of Mental Health And Neuro Sciences
(VIMHANS – representedby Dr. Vinod Nagpal), Indian Law Institute ( ILI
– represented by Prof.Kamala Shankaran), Political Scientist Dr.
Tanvir Aeijaz, ClinicalPsychologist Prof. Aruna Broota.2.13

Presentations were also made at different places visited by the
Committeeby representatives of all leading student organizations.
The interaction of the Committee with all stake holders at the
places visited by theCommittee as mentioned earlier is given in
A n n e x u r e I I I
and a glimpseof the interest shown by stake holders is evident from
a sample of mediareports which is at
A n n e x u r e V I
. Equipped with analysis and inputs,
which became available through the process and methodology of wide-
ranging consultations and feed back, the Committee proceeded to
review the Status of anti-ragging measures obtaining at present.

3 . S t a t u s o f a n t i - r a g g i n g
m e a s u r e s
3 . 0 1

The Committee has carefully considered the Report of the
Committeeappointed by the University Grants Commission in 1999 for
framingguidelines with regard to combating the menace of ragging
in Universities/Educational Institutions (herein after termed the
1999 Report). It is usefulto recapitulate the 1999 Report to
understand the reasons for thecontinuing menace of ragging.
3 . 0 2

In response to a Public Interest Legislation, filed by the Vishwa
JagritiMission for curbing the practice of ragging, the UGC constituted a
fourmember committee chaired by Prof K P S Unny of the Jawaharlal
NehruUniversity, New Delhi. The 1999 Report defined ragging
along with its„positive‟ and negative impacts. While enumerating
some of the „positive‟impacts of the concept of ragging, the 1999
Report observed that itsnegative manifestations had become more
prevalent. The report also talksof various forms of ragging, reasons
for ragging and its increasingincidences, locations vulnerable from
the point of view of ragging, andproblems encountered during anti-
ragging measures.
3 . 0 3

The 1999 Report recommended a PPP (Prohibition – Prevention –
Punishment) approach. It suggested certain guidelines for
prevention, law for prohibition and strict enforcement for punishing
the offender(s). Inregard to Prohibition, it recommended
enactment of Central and the statelaws, making ragging a cognizable
offence and identifying the perverseforms of ragging under such law(s). It
also suggested several“punishments” commensurate with the
severity of the offence. It alsosuggested that the Films‟ Censor Board
and other agencies shoulddiscourage eulogizing of ragging in films and
the media. The 1999 Reportalso suggested promulgation of Ordinances
by academic institutions as aninterim arrangement till anti-ragging
statutes and laws could be made.
3 . 0 4

The 1999 Report also proposed guidelines for the prevention of
ragging. Itrecommended that an anti-ragging movement should start
from the date
of publication of advertisements for admissions; advertisements
shouldalso carry the message in respect of ban on ragging, and the
consequencesof violation; the subsequent stages of admission
process should accordingto the 1999 Report reinforce the message
against ragging through theprospectus, application forms and admission
forms. It also recommendedthat an undertaking for not indulging in
ragging be made mandatory foradmission to student hostels. It suggested
that institutions should takemeasures to reduce the dependence of
„„freshers‟‟ on the senior students. Itrecommended information
booklets to be made available to the „„freshers‟‟providing vital
information, contact addresses, telephone numbers, as alsoinformation
to „„freshers‟‟ about their rights as a bona fide student of
theinstitution. The 1999 Report also recommended that „„freshers‟‟
should beencouraged to report incidents of ragging.
3 . 0 5

The 1999 Report also recommended various actions that ought to be
takenat the commencement of each academic session, like an address
by theHead of the institution (University, College, etc) to wardens,
studentactivists, parents/guardians, police and faculty, and
constituting anti-ragging Vigilance Committees comprising some senior
faculty members,students and wardens. It recommended that
Vigilance Committees shouldenquire into reported incidents of
ragging and a disciplinary committeeshould prescribe appropriate
punishment, based on which the Head of theinstitution should act
immediately and promptly. Suo motu action by Heads of
institutions was also suggested in the 1999 Report along
withenhancement of the power of institutional authorities, who could in
somecases be vested with magisterial powers. It also suggested
collectivepunishment if a perpetrator and/or an abettor could not be
identified, witheven onlookers or victims to be penalized for not
reporting incidents of ragging. It was recommended that the
institution should not wait for theaction by the police or Courts for
undertaking its own punitive measures.The 1999 Report
recommended that the defaulting institution should bepenalized in
the form of reduction in grants-in-aid or even disaffiliation.
Itemphasized the need for dissemination of information related to
thedehumanizing impact of ragging and punishments for offences of
ragging,
through posters as well the media, which should be requested to
giveadequate publicity to adverse impact of ragging especially in the
months of July and August every year.
3 . 0 6

The 1999 Report had suggested different grades of punishments ( a total
of eleven were suggested), ranging from suspension of offenders from
theinstitution to a fine of Rs 25,000 and, even rigorous
imprisonment up to 3years depending on the degree of severity of
the offence. It was alsosuggested that except the punishment of
rigorous imprisonment whichCourts alone could award, all other
punishments should be awarded by theinstitutional authorities
themselves. It also recommended some positivesteps and
incentives to create an anti-ragging environment; for instance,
acommittee may be set up to actively monitor, promote and
regulatehealthy interaction between „„freshers‟‟ and senior
students; similarly, theparty to welcome the „„freshers‟‟ should be
organized early at thecommencement of the academic session;
increased student-faculty interaction was also suggested. The 1999
Report also recommendedincentives for the students, wardens and
other functionaries; for examplefor the students, some marks or grade
can be awarded for their anti-ragging activism, similarly, „Good
Conduct‟ and „Not Found Indulging InAny Form Of ragging‟ should be
some of the elements of sessionalevaluation. It was suggested that for
wardens, perks like in-campusaccommodation, free telephone, some
honorarium and favourableperformance appraisal for promotion may
enhance their commitment tocurb the menace of ragging.
3 . 0 7

It may be concluded that the 1999 Report has to an extent
diagnosedseveral causes leading to persistence of ragging incidents in
campuses. Thesuggestions and recommendations were also
equally exhaustive. Then,why is it that the problem persists, was the
query this Committee raised atthe various interactive forums and in
the consultative process adopted by us. This leads us to look into
the status of implementation of therecommendations of the 1999
Report which derived its strength from theendorsement of guidelines
by the Apex Court in the Jagriti matter. In
order to understand the implementation of Supreme Court‟s
guidelinesand the UGC‟s mandate in respect of the 1999 Report by
Universities andhigher educational institutions, the Ministry of
Human ResourceDevelopment (MHRD) was approached. The
Ministry provided material inrespect of a reply in Parliament by the
Hon‟ble Minister of HumanResource Development to a Question
on the subject of ragging [RajyaSabha Starred Question No. 98 of
the 5
th
March, 2007 ]
3 . 0 8

According to information furnished by the MHRD, the University
GrantsCommission had circulated the 1999 Report to all
universities on the 13
th
January, 2000 for necessary action. Similarly, the directions of
theHon‟ble Supreme Court in W.P.(Civil) No. 656 of 1998 [Vishwa
JagritiMission] on curbing the menace of ragging in educational
institutions havealso been circulated by the University Grants
Commission to all theStates/Union Territory Governments and
institutions for strictcompliance. These directions of the Apex
Court have also been brought tothe notice of all State/UT
Governments and Universities and otherinstitutions coming under
its purview by the Central Government(MHRD). The All India
Council of Technical Education (AICTE), it hasbeen reported, has
put up a circular on its web site that “ragging ineducational
institutions in any form is banned under law; all the
AICTEapproved institutions must ensure that ragging does not take
place at theircampuses in any form; should such a case be
reported or brought to thenotice of the AICTE, then the Council
shall take necessary action includingwithdrawal of approval.”
3 . 0 9

It has also been informed by the MHRD that no centralized data is
beingmaintained at present on incidents of ragging. In respect of
measurestaken to curb the menace of ragging, it has been
mentioned that a strictvigil is being maintained by the universities
and institutions. TheOrdinances of Central Universities also
provide for action to be taken inthe event of ragging taking place
in the universities. The CentralGovernment in the Ministry of
Human Resource Development (vide F.No.9-5/2006 – U.II. dated
the 11
th
August, 2006) asked the UGC to issue
appropriate directions to all universities and institutions and also
toconsider framing appropriate Regulation in order to prevent the
incidenceof ragging. Such Regulation would obviously be binding
only on theInstitutions receiving grants-in-aid from the Commission. The
UGC wasalso advised to consider creating a Cell in the UGC to collect,
disseminateinformation and to monitor incidents of ragging. Taking
serious note of incidents of ragging which were continuing to come to its
noticenotwithstanding specific directions of the Apex Court that it
was theprimary responsibility of institutions to curb ragging, the
CentralGovernment drew attention of the Education Secretaries of
all States andUnion Territories to the guidelines and directions of
the Apex Court (videcommunication F.No. 10-2/99- Desk (U.I.) of
the 31
st
August, 2004).Similar communication had earlier been sent to all
Institutions Deemed tobe Universities and to all the technical
educational institutions such as theIITs, IIMs etc. coming under the
purview of the Central Government (videcommunication No. F.
No. 2-9/2003 – T.S.I dated the 3
rd
August, 2004and vide No. F. 21-10/2004 – U.5 dated the 25
th
August, 2004). TheCentral Government called for stern action
against those indulging inragging and exemplary punishment is meted
out so that incidents are notrepeated. States and educational
institutions were called upon toimplement the guidelines. State
Governments were also requested to callfor „action taken‟ reports
from institutions. The Committee notesreluctantly that during its
visit to the different States and regions, it didnot come across any
serious effort to implement the guidelines of theSupreme Court in the
manner in which the Apex Court had intended so.
3 . 1 0

On the 25
th
March, 2007 the Committee interacted with Dr. T.R.
Kem,Secretary, UGC. He was asked about the arrangements or system,
if any, tomonitor incidents of ragging in universities and institutions
coming underthe Commission‟s purview in terms of the University
Grants CommissionAct, 1956. The Committee was informed that
while the UGC has notcreated any dedicated Cell to deal
exclusively with the problem of raggingin universities and
institutions under its purview, the issue was lookedafter in the
Planning and Coordination Bureau within the UGC. A proposal
with regard to a separate Regulation for prevention of ragging
beingprepared for the approval of the Commission in one of its
forthcomingmeetings (Dr. Kem mentioned that the next meeting of
the Commissionwas due in April, 2007 and a suitable proposal
would be put up before it).The Commission has not yet prescribed any
reporting format andtherefore no statistics are being maintained at
present. The guidelines of the UGC forming part of the report
based on the Supreme Court directionshave been circulated to all
universities in the year 2000; the subsequentcommunication from
the government and the orders of the Supreme Courtare on the
website of the Commission. So far there has not been any caseof
stoppage of grants by the UGC in respect of any university or
institutionfor failure to prevent ragging incidents. The Commission
has also notdirected any university to disaffiliate any institution on
the grounds of notpreventing ragging or for not taking action in the
event of ragging. At therequest of the Chairman of the Committee,
the UGC has submitted a statusnote (
A n n e x u r e V I I
) on the implementation of the directions of theSupreme Court in
the Vishwa Jagriti Mission matter (2001) in pursuing itsown
guidelines that were endorsed by the Apex Court. It more or
lessconfirms the above mentioned submission by the Secretary.
3 . 1 1

The Committee also interacted with Dr. Narayana Rao, Member-
Secretary of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)
on the 25
th
March, 2007. He confirmed the Circular put up by the Council at its
website warning the institutions approved by it of the need to
prevent ragging.According to Dr. Rao, the said Circular has not been
issued to eachinstitution but the Council has circulated its directions
that all institutionsshould visit the Council‟s website at least once
a week. He also submittedthat the Council would repeat the
Circular. He stated that there were noinstances of ragging that have
been reported to the Council by institutions.On a specific query regarding
the mechanism to monitor incidents of ragging in privately run hostels
where students of institutions resided, itwas confirmed by Prof. Rao
that there were no regulations pertaining tothe registration of private
hostels. [The Committee is however aware thatunder the AICTE
guidelines at least 25% of male students and at least 50%
of female students must be provided with hostel accommodation by
themanagement.] The AICTE was also asked to submit status
reportregarding the implementation of the Hon‟ble Supreme
Court‟s directionsin regard to curbing and preventing ragging.
3 . 1 2

The Committee also heard Lt. Col. A.R.N. Setalvad, Secretary of
theMedical Council of India on the 25
th
March, 2007, who informed theCommittee that complaints about
ragging did not reach the MCI as suchcomplaints may be reported to
the university or the police authorities orthe institutional
authorities. He felt that the question whether MCIconsidered that
ragging could affect the standards of medical educationcould be
responded to only by the Executive Committee of the Council.
Lt.Col. Setalvad confirmed that no instructions or guidelines had
been issuedby the MCI specifically in regard to the menace of
ragging. The MCI hasbeen requested to furnish a status note in regard
to the issue of ragging aswell as on some ancillary suggestions that had
come up during the courseof the Committee‟s interactions with a
large cross-section of students andfaculty and other authorities in
medical colleges, namely, whether the MCIhad any powers to prescribe a
date of commencement of classes for thesecond year students through
its Regulations? Whether MCI regulationsmention anything about
curbing ragging? Whether it was possible to give„„freshers‟‟ in 1st
MBBS a breather for one or two weeks to settle downbefore the
2nd MBBS students arrived on the campus or in hostels? Lt.Col.
Setalvad also submitted that the MCI had to work within the
frame-work of the Indian Medical Council Act, and could only
recommendwithdrawal of recognition of medical colleges to the Central
Government.He informed that the MCI had recommended the
withdrawal of recognition in as many as 8 cases but since the
Government also had togive notices for showing cause and other
procedural formalities, none of the cases had been finalized yet.
On behalf of the Committee, theChairman asked Lt. Col. Setalvad
whether the MCI believed that it had arole in combating ragging in
medical colleges in the country. If so, whatmeasures had been
taken by the Council thus far and what measures didthey propose
to take in the future; and, if the Council felt that it had no
responsibility what were the reasons? Secretary, MCI promised to send
therequisite information which was required to be formulated by
theExecutive Committee and the Adhoc Committee of the Council
appointedby the Supreme Court. The MCI have since reported
[vide MCI-34(1)/2007-Med./2899 dated the 3
rd
May, 2007] that the Council at itsmeeting on the 28
th
April, 2007 has resolved as follows:“
The members of the Adhoc Committee appointed by the Hon‟ble
SupremeCourt and of the Executive Committee of the Council
considered the letter dated3
rd
April, 2007 received from the Director, Department of Higher
Education,Ministry of HRD, New Delhi and decided to constitute a
Sub-Committeecomprising of Dr. Ved Prakash Mishra,
Chairman, Post Graduate Committee,MCI and Vice
Chancellor, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences
(DeemedUniversity), Nagpur; Dr. Indrajit Ray, Principal,
Medical College, Kolkata andDr. B.P. Dubey, Professor and
Head, Department of Forensic Medicine, GandhiMedical College,
Bhopal and directed the office of the Secretary to convene
ameeting of the Sub-Committee at the earliest so as to place the
report of the Sub-Committee before the Executive Committee at
its next meeting.

3 . 1 3

The Committee also studied the existing statutory provisions in
respect of ragging in the different States of the country. While
executive orders of State Governments or Ordinances of
universities exist in different States,some States have enacted
specific anti-ragging laws. The Committeecompared the existing
legislations in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh,Maharashtra
and West Bengal. The Committee was also informed that“The Assam
Prohibition of Ragging Bill, 1998” passed by the LegislativeAssembly on
the 5
th
December, 1998 to replace the Ordinance of 1998 onthe subject,
has not yet been notified.
3 . 1 4

The Committee compared the existing State legislations in respect of anti-
ragging measures on the following parameters : 1) Purpose of legislation
2)Ragging as defined in the law 3) The Scheme of prevention 4)
InstitutionalMechanism 5) Appellate Forum 6) Nature of Offence
7) Penaltiesprescribed 8) Whether Compoundable 9) Whether
Rules are notified. A comparative statement is at
A n n e x u r e V I I I
.
3 . 1 5

In terms of the purpose of the various State laws, we find that
other thanthe Chhattisgarh Act, no other State legislation is
intended to preventragging – the others only seek to prohibit. Although
broadly prohibitionand prevention may appear to be broadly
intended to achieve the samepurpose, it is important to
understand the subtle difference for ourobjectives, between
prevention and prohibition. Prevention impliesanticipating the
problem of ragging, forestalling the occurrence of it,taking
precautionary measures to make it difficult if not impossible
forragging to take place. Thus a law against ragging which is preventive
inapproach would necessarily create conditions that anticipate, forestall
andmake it difficult for ragging to take place – all of which help in the
law becoming a facilitator in enforcing the prohibition of the menace
of ragging. While prevention must lead to prohibition, the reverse
need notbe true. On the other hand, prohibition is intended to
authoritatively forbid or restrain the act of ragging with the
intention of stopping themenace. The subtle difference lies in the
fact that while prohibition of ragging is a top-down approach where the
law can be cryptic, any law onprevention must be more participative
with a bottom-up approach layingdown the detailed mechanism of
preventive measures andinstrumentalities. A law which is prohibitive
emphasizes on theconsequences of violating the prohibition and
therefore builds on theprocedures and instrumentalities of punishment;
a law which is preventivein comparison would provide for the
procedures and instrumentalities of strengthening prevention of
the offence. For our broad purposes of weeding out the menace of
ragging, any law must contain elements of bothprevention and
prohibition.
3 . 1 6

The Committee notes with concern that firstly there are very few
Statesthat have enacted laws in respect of ragging. Even these
few existing Statelaws are woefully lacking in provisions intended to
prevent ragging. Thegeneral scheme of the existing State laws casts a
duty on the Head of Institution to prohibit ragging. The Head is not
to be a mute spectator andhas to conduct and enquiry on receipt
of any complaint received and takesaction thereon. Whoever
commits, participates in, abets or propagates
ragging shall be fined and or if convicted, punished with the
prescribedperiod of imprisonment, and is also liable for
suspension if prima facie thecharge is found to be true. None of the
State laws provide for any schemeof prevention of ragging. Yes, the
Committee has been told at almost allplaces visited by it that detailed
instructions have been issued by theauthorities and that
ordinances of Universities provide for certainmechanisms for
prevention of ragging. However, in the absence of any statutory
provision in this regard it is easy to imagine that there is
hardly any compulsion on authorities or institutions to take
preventive measures.Yes, again, Supreme Court guidelines are
stated to be followed by Statesand institutions; however, no State
law has been modified or amended tobring them in line with the
guidelines and directions of the Apex Court.Even the law of
Chhattisgarh does not really address the concern of prevention.
Indeed, it is too cryptic to attempt that aspect. This
perhapsconfirms the reason as to why there have been nearly
200 reportedincidents of ragging since the time the Apex Court
took up the matter andthere has been no abatement of the
menace despite the introduction of State laws. A list of incidents of
ragging reported in the print media sincethe year 1998 is at
A n n e x u r e I X
. The Committee thanks CURE formaking available this compilation. An
analysis of this compilation forstate-wise reports of incidents is at
A n n e x u r e I X A
.
3 . 1 7

In order to be effective, statutory provisions have to be followed
up withappropriate delegated legislations or Rules, which
empower theinstrumentalities of the State or institutional
authorities to enforce thelaws. The Committee is did not come
across notification of Rules orRegulations in many of the State
Acts. While some States dealt with theproblem of ragging in their
State Education Acts (e.g. KarnatakaEducation Act, 1995 wherein
section 2(29) defined ragging ) dedicatedState laws in respect of
ragging have been enacted between 1997 (TamilNadu and
Andhra Pradesh) and 2001 (Chhattigarh). The Apex Courtverdict
in „Vishwa Jagriti Mission‟ was delivered in the year 2001,
whereincertain “illustrative” guidelines had been set out for the
various stake-holders.

3 . 1 8

The Apex Court laid down in the „Vishwa Jagriti Mission‟ matter
certainguidelines for initiating an anti-ragging movement, for
disseminatinginformation to students regarding ragging, taking an
undertaking fromparents of students against the latter indulging in
ragging, possible systemof interaction with „freshers‟, formation of
proctorial committee in eachinstitution to keep vigil in all
vulnerable locations, and to promptly dealwith incidents of
ragging. The guidelines also included fixing of liability onthe
management, the principal/Head of the Institution and
othersresponsible for maintaining discipline such as the hostel
wardens/superintendents. The substance of the directions of the
Hon‟ble SupremeCourt‟s guidelines could be summarized as below :-

The guidelines issued by the Court being only
illustrative,institutions and authorities could take further necessary
steps tocurb ragging.-

Local laws, if any, should be implemented and informationabout
such laws should be disseminated.-

Cognizable offences of ragging should be reported to the police.-

Police entry into campuses should be only at the instance of
thehead of the institution.-

Police should, while dealing with students, not treat them
ascriminals, and should only resort to correctional action.-

The UGC was asked to bring the guidelines to the notice of
alleducational institutions – both the UGC and the
CentralGovernment were asked to give wide publicity to the
guidelines.
3 . 1 9

Ironically, the Committee notes that the reported incidents of
ragginghave, far from abating, actually increased in the years
since 2001. Thedifferent State laws define ragging more or less in the
same tone. As amatter of fact, the definition of ragging is common
to the Acts of TamilNadu, Maharashtra and West Bengal. They do
take care of thepsychological aspect of the trauma, yet do not
comprehensively cover –save for the definition in the Chhattisgarh
Act, perhaps being a later pieceof legislation – the broader implication
of ragging, which the Apex Court
itself set out in the „Vishwa Jagriti Mission‟ matter as :

Any disorderly conduct whether by words spoken or written
or by an actwhich has the effect of teasing, treating or
handling with rudeness any otherstudent, indulging in rowdy or
undisciplined activities which causes or is likely to cause
annoyance, hardship or psychological harm or to raise fear
orapprehension thereof in a fresher or a junior student or asking
the students todo any act or perform something which such
student will not in the ordinary course and which has the
effect of causing or generating a sense of shame
orembarrassment so as to adversely affect the physique or
psyche of a fresher or ajunior student
.”
3 . 2 0

We shall discuss, elsewhere, the possible need for an even
morecomprehensive definition of ragging; for the present
however, what issignificant is that the definition of ragging in
different State laws has notundergone any revision since the
matter was decided and certaindirections were given by the Apex
Court in 2001.
3 . 2 1

As mentioned earlier, the Committee analyzed 198 incidents of
raggingbetween the years 1998 and 2007 (till date), from the
compilationforwarded by CURE (
A n n e x u r e I X A
). The purpose was to see whetherenactment of State laws since
1997 had been effective in curbing themenace and incidence of
ragging. Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh wereamong the first States
to enact a dedicated legislation way back in 1997 toprohibit ragging.
Surprisingly Andhra Pradesh happens to have the largestnumber of
reported incidents of ragging (23) during the period underreview.
One reason for the higher reported incidents of ragging may be
thegreater awareness brought about by a law and the consequent
exposure toeven isolated instances being highlighted by the media
or reported by thevictims or others. Another reason perhaps could be
the expansion inprofessional education where such incidents are
known to be high. It isequally interesting to note that while the
State of Uttar Pradesh does nothave a State law against ragging, it
has reported almost as many incidentsof ragging (22) as Andhra Pradesh
during the same period. West Bengal isyet another State with a State
law (enacted in 2000) against ragging, yetthe third highest
incidents of ragging (16) are reported from that State.

Maharashtra enacted a State law in the year 1999 and Kerala did so
in1998; both States recorded 14 incidents each – the fourth
highest amongall States! The reported incidents of ragging have shown
a sharp increasein 2001 when as many as 31 incidents were
reported as against amaximum of 9 in the earlier years of the
review period. There is nodiscernible trend, although a peak
seems to have been reached in the year2005, when as many as 42
incidents were reported by the media.
3 . 2 2

How deplorable the consequences of ragging have become in recent
yearscan be gauged from news incidents of ragging reported by the
media(collated by CURE) – just to cite news items highlighted by
the media in2006 alone (of course it is possible that several other
incidents not comingto the attention of the media have not been
reported or again that thereports appearing in the vernacular
sections of the press have not beenreflected here).
3 . 2 3

E n g i n e e r i n g s t u d e n t
S . P . M a n o j i s r e p o r t e d t o
h a v e h a n g e d h i m s e l f i n H y
d e r a b a d , a c c o r d i n g t o h i s
p a r e n t s , a f t e r r a g g i n g ; B i j o y
M a h a r a t h i , a p h a r m a c y
s t u d e n t o f B h u b a n e s w a r d i e d
o f t o r t u r e w h i l e u n d e r g o i n g
r a g g i n g ; a s t u d e n t o f t h e
O r i s s a U n i v e r s i t y o f A g r i c u l t u r e
T e c h n o l o g y w a s p u s h e d d o w n
f r o m t h e t e r r a c e b y s e n i o r s
r e s u l t i n g i n s p i n a l i n j u r i e s
a n d b r o k e n l e g s ; V i p i n L a l o f
K o z h i k o d e , a s t u d e n t o f
T e a c h e r s ‟ T r a i n i n g I n s t i t u t e w
a s s e v e r e l y

m a n h a n d l e d a n d f o r c e d t o
c o n s u m e a l c o h o l ; i n
B h a g a l p u r , a n a l t e r c a t i o n o v e r
r a g g i n g i s r e p o r t e d t o h a v e
l e d t o b o m b - b l a s t s ; a c o l l e g e
s t u d e n t i n I n d o r e j u m p e d i n
f r o n t o f a r u n n i n g t r a i n a f t e r
h e w a s c a u g h t a n d
d e t a i n e d f o r r a g g i n g o t h e r
s t u d e n t s ; R o h i t V i j a y R a n e o f
M u m b a i s u f f e r e d s e v e r e s w
e l l i n g o f c h e s t a n d s k u l l
i n j u r i e s a f t e r b e i n g h i t b y
b e l t s ; M u k e s h o f A n d h r a
P r a d e s h w a s s e x u a l l y
a s s a u l t e d d u r i n g r a g g i n g a n d
h i s m o t h e r c o u l d n o t b e a r
t h e i g n o m i n y l e a d i n g t o h e r
s u i c i d e ; a f i r s t y e a r m e d i c a l
s t u d e n t o f P u n e h a d t o b e
h o s p i t a l i z e d i n t h e I n t e n s i v e
C a r e U n i t a f t e r b e i n g
r a g g e d s e v e r e l y b y s e n i o r s ; i n
H y d e r a b a d , t h r e e s t u d e n t s w
e r e

p a r a d e d n a k e d a n d t o a d d t o
t h e h u m i l i a t i o n , t h e
e n t i r e e p i s o d e w a s r e c o r d e d
t h r o u g h c e l l - p h o n e c a m e r a ; A
N a g a m e d i c a l s t u d e n t w a s
f o u n d h a n g i n g i n h i s h o s t e l
r o o m a t h i s i n s t i t u t e i n I m p h a l
a f t e r h e h a d b e e n r a g g e d ; S w
a p n i l S h a r m a o f N I T , D u r g a p u r
w a s t r a u m a t i z e d a f t e r b e i n g
f o r c e d t o k n e e l d o w n f o r t w o
h o u r s ; r a g g i n g a t P a t n a
S c i e n c e C o l l e g e h a d t o b e
c o n t r o l l e d b y s e c u r i t y g u a r d s
o f t h e P r o c t o r b y o p e n i n g
f i r e ; t w o s e n i o r s t u d e n t s o f
t h e I n s t i t u t e o f H o t e l M a n a g e m
e n t a t H y d e r a b a d w e r e
r e p o r t e d l y k i l l e d i n r e t a l i a t i o n
b y a j u n i o r w h o h a d b e e n
s u b j e c t e d t o r a g g i n g h u m
i l i a t i o n ; s t r i p p i n g
a n d b r a n d i n g o f j u n i o r
s t u d e n t s h a s b e e n r e p o r t e d
f r o m G u j a r a t V i d y a p e e t h ,
i r o n i c a l l y , a n i n s t i t u t i o n
f o u n d e d o n M a h a t m a G a n d h i ‟ s
c a l l ; g i r l s t u d e n t s o f V i s w a
B h a r a t i a t
S a n t i n i k e t a n a l l e g e d l y f o r c e d a
j u n i o r t o u n d e r g o g r o u p s e x .
T h e m e n a c e o f r a g g i n g , i t m
a y b e s e e n f r o m t h e a b o v e
a c c o u n t p e r m e a t e s o u r c a m
p u s e s o f e v e r y k i n d a n d n o t
j u s t t h e m e d i c a l
o r p r o f e s s i o n a l c o l l e g e s ( e v e n
t h o u g h i n c i d e n c e i s m o r e
p r e v a l e n t i n s u c h i n s t i t u t i o n s )
a s i s m a d e o u t t o b e . I t i s
a l s o n o t c o n f i n e d t o t e r t i a r y
e d u c a t i o n a l o n e – w h a t i s
s h o c k i n g i s t h a t
r a g g i n g i n c i d e n t s h a v e b e e n
r e p o r t e d o f l a t e i n s c h o o l s a s
w e l l : d u r i n g 2 0 0 6 a l o n e ,
t h r e e s u c h i n c i d e n t s a t t h e
s c h o o l l e v e l h a v e
b e e n r e p o r t e d . I n D e h r a d u n ‟ s
S h i g a l l y H i l l I n t e r n a t i o n a l
A c a d e m y , a c l a s s V I s t u d e n t
h a s

a l l e g e d s e x u a l h a r a s s m e n t b y
s e n i o r s ; a c l a s s V I I I s t u d e n t o f
V a d o d a r a ‟ s B h a v a n V M P u b l i c
S c h o o l , r e p o r t e d l y c o m p l a i n e d
o f r a g g i n g a n d l e f t t h e
i n s t i t u t i o n ; r e p o r t s o f r a g g i n g
c r u e l t y h a s b e e n r e p o r t e d b y
o n e D e e p a k S h a r m a , w h o
c l a i m s t o h a v e s u f f e r e d
d u r i n g h i s d a y s a t D e l h i P u b l i c
S c h o o l , R K P u r a m . T h e h u m
i l i a t i o n f e l t b y v i c t i m s
o f r a g g i n g l e a d i n g t o s u i c i d e s
i s a p a i n f u l r e a l i t y – t h r e e
s u c h c a s e s w e r e r e p o r t e d i n 2 0 0
5 , t w o w e r e r e p o r t e d i n 2 0 0 4 ,
t h r e e c a s e s w e r e

r e p o r t e d i n 2 0 0 3 , o n e i n 2 0 0 2 ,
o n e i n 2 0 0 1 , o n e i n 2 0 0 0 a n d
o n e i n 1 9 9 8 . S o m e o f t h e e l i t e
i n s t i t u t i o n s w e r e n o t f a r
b e h i n d i n d e s p i c a b l e a n d
i n h u m a n a c t s o f r a g g i n g ,
i f p a r e n t s a n d s t u d e n t s
p r e f e r r i n g t o r e m a i n a n o n y
m o u s a r e t o

b e b e l i e v e d . T h e C o m m i t t e e w
a s i n f o r m e d t h a t i n J u l y -
A u g u s t , 2 0 0 3 , i n I I T , D e l h i
o v e r a h u n d r e d „ f r e s h e r s ‟ w e r e
s t r i p p e d n a k e d a n d p a r a d e d
t h r o u g h t h e c o r r i d o r s o f i t s
„ K u m a o n ‟ H o s t e l .
3 . 2 4

From the foregoing, it may be safely concluded that the situation
in regardto ragging in educational institutions has only worsened
both in terms of the incidence of the menace as well as in terms
of the intensity or degree of brutality associated with it. And, it is
not supported by evidence that themenace is confined to engineering
or medical colleges alone. Inputs duringthe interactions of the
Committee indicate that, not withstanding thecounsel of the
Hon‟ble Apex Court, serious acts of a criminal naturecontinue to
be perpetrated on victims of ragging by the oppressor seniors.
3 . 2 5

Is it the case that the guidelines of the Supreme Court were
ineffective todeal with the situation? If so, what could be the
reasons? Is it that some of them are impractical? Or, is it merely
the case that the guidelines have notbeen adequately publicized?
Is it that the institutions have not taken theproblem to be serious
enough? Is it that the problem being seasonal at thetime of admissions
petering out later in the academic session, does not lastin the
institutional memory? Is it that the moral edge in
educationaladministration has extinguished so much that no one
has the courage tobring about order in campuses? Is it the failure to co-
opt all the stake-holders? Is it the unwillingness or neglect of governments
to implementthe guidelines? Have any instances of non-compliance been
brought to thenotice of the UGC/Central/State governments? These and
other relatedqueries were addressed by the Committee in the
various interactionsessions with stake-holders. This situation also
calls for an examination of whether the view taken by the Apex
Court that students indulging inragging should be treated as students
for correctional steps and not ascriminals, needs to be looked at all
over again.

4 . O b s e r v a t i o n s o f t h e
C o m m i t t e e
4 . 0 1

The Committee came across a variety of aspects of the menace
of raggingwhich for the purpose of convenience can be grouped as
under withappropriate illustrations:
4 . 0 1 . 1

ragging has several aspects with among others psychological,social,
political, economic, cultural, and academic dimensions.
4 . 0 1 . 2

Any act that prevents, disrupts or disturbs the regular
academicactivity of a student should be considered with in the
academicsrelated aspect of ragging; similarly, exploiting the services of
ajunior student for completing the academic tasks assigned to
anindividual or a group of seniors is also an aspect of
academicsrelated ragging prevalent in many institutions,
particularly in theprofessional institutions in medicine.
4 . 0 1 . 3

Any act of financial extortion or forceful expenditure burden put
ona junior student by senior students should be considered an
aspectof ragging for ragging economic dimensions.
4 . 0 1 . 4

Any act of physical abuse including all variants of it : sexual
abuse,homosexual assaults, stripping, forcing obscene and lewd
acts,gestures, causing bodily harm or any other danger to health
orperson can be put in the category of ragging with criminaldimensions.
4 . 0 1 . 5

Any act or abuse by spoken words, emails, snail-mails, publicinsults
should be considered with in the psychological aspects of ragging. This
aspect would also include deriving perverted pleasure,vicarious or
sadistic thrill from actively or passively participating inthe
discomfiture to others; the absence of preparing „freshers‟ in
therun up to their admission to higher education and life in
hostelsalso can be ascribed as a psychological aspect of ragging –
copingskills in interaction with seniors or strangers can be imparted
by parents as well. Any act that affects the mental health and self-
confidence of students also can be described in terms of the

psychological aspect of ragging.
4 . 0 1 . 6

The political aspect of ragging is apparent from the fact thatincidents of
ragging are low in institutions which promotedemocratic participation of
students in representation and providean identity to students to
participate in governance and decisionmaking within the institute
bodies.
4 . 0 1 . 7

The human rights perspective of ragging involves the injury
causedto the fundamental right to human dignity through
humiliationheaped on junior students by seniors; often resulting in
the extremestep of suicide by the victims. In one instance we
have already recounted the reported case of the mother of the
victim committingsuicide as she could not bear the ignominy of
sexual assault on herson by his seniors.
4 . 0 2

In none of the interactions did the Committee come across any
instance of the educational institutions approaching the police
authorities in reportingeven the extreme incidents of ragging. Usually,
the complaints with thepolice are lodged by the parents of the
victims. Most of the parents havereported that the
University/college support for following up on the casewith the law
and order machinery has been lukewarm – indeed in somecases the
institutions have actively dissuaded persistent parents.
TheCommittee is concerned with the evasive attitude of
institutions and it istherefore necessary that the institutional authorities
are made accountablein a variety of ways.
4 . 0 3

The Committee views the absence of civil society initiatives on the
issue of ragging as a matter of serious concern. Unless the wider society
getsinvolved in the issue of ragging as a social menace, the
problem cannot becurbed or prevented by educational institutions
alone. Societalindifference is understandable in the perspective of
the low access tohigher education in India – with less than 9 out
of every 100 of our youngpersons in the relevant age group (18-
23 years) enrolled in highereducation and only a fraction of even
this low numbers in professionaleducation or residing in campus
hostels – the problem looks too remote orexclusive for the rest of
the society. The Committee observed that it couldcome across not
more than two or three NGOs engaged in creating
awareness against ragging or involved in any significant manner in
themovement against ragging.
4 . 0 4

The expansion in capacity in educational institutions in the recent
past,particularly in professional courses like engineering, has led
to themushrooming of out of campus hostel accommodation for a large
numberof students. These locations are often unknown to the
institutionalauthorities or even to the local law and order
authorities. The Committeewas apprised of several incidents of
ragging taking place in such locations.However, no one with in the
institution was willing to own upresponsibility as these private
hostels were considered outside the campusand therefore outside
the scope of responsibility cast on authorities by theguidelines of
the Hon‟ble Supreme Court. This indeed is a wrongassumption
because the responsibility of the authorities is no less
when„freshers‟ are affected outside the campus, the mere fact
that suchincidents do not occur within the campus does not
absolve them of theimportant responsibility cast on them by the Apex
Court, for as long as theincident of ragging relates to the students
enrolled in their institution.
4 . 0 5

The Committee came across instances where access to
communicationfacilities – particularly of mobile phones – has saved
junior students fromimminent danger. It was observed that the
possession of mobile phonewas the best and immediate source
for the ragged to communicate withthe relevant authorities. The
ban on the use of mobile phones in someinstitutions on the
ground that they are liable to be misused is somewhatfar-fetched.
It may be so in the case of some devices which are fitted
withphotographic facility, but certainly not so as a purely
communicationdevice. The ban on mobile phones is also imposed on the
grounds thatthey disturb classes – this can be easily overcome by
banning use in class-rooms, or through technological solutions, through
jamming for example.
4 . 0 6

The Committee observed that among the instances of ragging very
few could be reported even where the junior students were courageous to
doso. The reason is to be found in their inability to identify senior
studentsindulging in ragging. How effective can timely complaints by
any emboldened fresher be is highlighted by the reported case of
a girl studentof the Medical College at Kottayam in Kerala, whose
complaint againstmale seniors resorting to sexual assault while ragging,
led to their arrests
and prosecution as well as action against the college authorities.
Theresultant media attention raised public interest in favour of
stern action. Itwas also observed that outsiders (non- bonafide
students, the backloggers/drag-ons and local goons) would invariably
enter the premises of institutions and acquire the role of „raggers‟. It
was also pointed out to theCommittee that such elements enjoy
patronage of the influential elite. Itwas also pointed out to the
Committee by institutional authorities thatthey are at times
prevented from taking strong action against the culpritsby outside
elements of the society enjoying political support.
4 . 0 7

The Committee was told by all the stake holders that there is
pressing needto provide assistance and to make available
guidance to fresher studentsby professional counsellors at the time of
their admission in order toprepare them for the life ahead in hostels.
Professional Counsellors shouldbe engaged to counsel potential
raggers also, who should be identified by the institutional
authorities, teaching faculty and non-teaching employees.
4 . 0 8

The Committee observes that almost all the stake-holders have
failed toact in some way or the other in curbing the menace of ragging in
every State. The State Governments have not monitored if the
ragging in theirState has been curbed or not. The authorities of
the institution have notplayed a pro-active role which was very
necessary in terms of theguidelines of the Apex Court where primary
responsibility was cast on theinstitutional authorities. On the contrary
it was told to the Committee thatthe authorities dissuaded the
victims of ragging from making any complaint.
4 . 0 9

It was categorically brought to the notice of the committee that in
remoteareas, wards of influential families involved in politics,
localadministration, trade and commerce, land-owning classes and
otherpower elite indulged in most shameful acts of ragging and got away
scot-free. The Committee was told that stake holders cutting across
sections -institutional authorities, faculty, senior students, the
management, thecivil authority, non-teaching staff etc. – can curb
or prevent raggingthrough a concerted effort. The Committee was
also told that even as itshould be a collective responsibility, a
major share of such responsibility should rest on the head of the
institution. The committee also observedthat the authorities of the
State and the Central Governments responsible
for implementing and monitoring the anti-ragging provisions had notdone
their job satisfactorily.
4 . 1 0

The Committee considers that the pedagogical and academic
environmentin campuses did not encourage activities wherein the
students can engagethemselves in intellectual, social and
physically and culturally meaningfulpursuits. On the basis of the
inputs received at the various hearings, it wasobserved that in
most of the cases ragging took place as a result of notengaging
students in classes; long interval between successive classes; lack of co-
curricular or sports and other extra-curricular activities; lack of
strictimplementation of attendance rules for senior students; and lack
of monitoring of the atmosphere and the environment at eating
„joints‟(canteens, cafes,
Khoka
, etc). In short, it proves the dictum - an „idle mindis the devil‟s
workshop‟. The reason for this state of affairs has to be
foundpartly in the declining allocation of financial resources to colleges
anduniversities over the years resulting in the near absence of
scheduledextra-curricular and co-curricular activities. Several
intra-collegiate, inter-collegiate, intra-university and inter-
university sports and othercompetitions have well nigh
disappeared. Academic activities have alsoover the years ceased
to be as exacting and challenging to sustain studentinterest, leaving
them with leisurely hours to engage in undesirableactivities.
4 . 1 1

It was brought to the notice of the Committee that it is almost
impossiblefor a fresh student to lodge a complaint against a „ragger‟ with
theappropriate authorities. We were told that insurmountable
pressure of nefarious kinds is put on those who are ragged and
on their kith and kin.Worst is the plight of the hostel residents who
can not seek protectionfrom any quarter. It was the considered opinion
of almost all the stake-holders that the Committee should devise ways
and means in order tomaintain the anonymity of the „ragged‟ so that
appropriate and drasticaction should be taken against the ragger,
without risking the identity of the victim.
4 . 1 2

The Committee observed, and was also told at many places, that
very oftenmembers of the teaching faculty were reluctant to be
posted as wardens inhostels. It is not too difficult to imagine that
warden is the pivot in theresidential system of campuses and from
the point of view of proximity, if
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