To curb the menace of ragging, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked higher education institutes across the country to install electronic surveillance and alarm bells at places frequented by students. Apart from this, they should form anti-ragging squads, quick-response teams and identify trouble-mongers in advance.
Citing its 2009 anti-ragging regulations, the UGC has directed educational institutes to install CCTVs inside canteens, hostels and college corridors and lawns. "The presence of CCTVs will act as a deterrent for senior students. It will also help the authorities to identify the culprits," it said. "Alarm bells should be placed in places from where junior students can press them in case of trouble. The authorities can rush to help them after hearing the alarm."
The UGC has also stressed on the need to identify students who are likely to create trouble for juniors at the start of the academic session. "Identifying trouble-mongers will help the authorities control ragging cases in their institutes," a UGC official told dna.
Apart from these measures, the UGC has also recommended surprise inspection of hostels, other places of accommodation, canteens, recreational rooms, toilets and bus stands. "Institutes are also free to adopt other measures which would prevent ragging and other uncalled-for behaviour or incidents," the official said.
Students and parents must be made aware of the anti-ragging helpline, website and monitoring agency too. In 2009, the government launched a 24-hour anti-ragging toll-free helpline (1800-180-5522) to help students in distress get immediate assistance. The UGC also launched an anti-ragging website (www.antiragging.in) which has received 1,084 complaints till now. The investigation is pending in the case of 391 complaints.
The UGC has asked institutes to step up the anti-ragging mechanism by way of adequate publicity through various mediums, action-packed anti-ragging committee and anti-ragging squad, quick-response-system, regular interaction and counselling, prominence to anti-ragging in the institution's prospectus and information booklets or brochures.