The incidents of a student from a Pune college attempting to end his life and a Satara girl’s suicide after being ragged by seniors have brought to the fore the fact that the ill practice of ragging still continues unabated in educational institutions across Maharashtra as well as India despite specific rules laid down by the University Grants Commission (UGC). Such cases raise the question whether our colleges are doing enough to implement these norms for the well-being of students. Speak Up finds out...
Colleges should inform students, staff about norms
Ragging is a phenomenon which can be curbed by changing the mindset of students. Instead of creating a scare among students on campus, we need to sensitise them, especially seniors, on this issue. They need to be sensitised that the freshers who come to the campus are mature enough. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has laid down some guidelines to check ragging on campus. College managements and principals must become more proactive in implementing these norms. It is the responsibility of the college to pass on the message to students, teachers and the administrative staff about anti-ragging strictures.
Apart from the legal aspect and implementation of anti-ragging rules, colleges should involve social reformers to raise awareness among students about this ill practice. Colleges have to be aware of the seriousness of ragging and act responsibly by forming an anti-ragging panel as per UGC norms.
—Arun Nigvekar, Former VC, University of Pune (UoP)
I don’t know whom to contact in case of ragging incident
There are no cases of ragging in my college at all. I have neither come across any such incident nor have I experienced it. Having said that, I do not know whether my college has an anti-ragging committee or not. I have seen some notices about ragging on notice boards, but I am not aware of the anti-ragging helpline. As far as I know, my college has never organised programmes or seminars on this issue. I do not know whom to contact, if I come across any such incident.
—Srivatsa Dandage, student, Abasaheb Garware College of Commerce
An anti-ragging panel isn’t enough to deal with this
Among the colleges that are affiliated to the University of Pune (UoP), there are aided colleges and non-aided colleges. Non-aided colleges often overlook the necessity to form an anti-ragging panel, whereas aided colleges show on paper that they have an anti-ragging panel, but in reality they are non-functional.
On the UoP campus, anti-ragging norms issued by the UGC are put up on notice boards at various prominent places. My suggestion is that the UoP must pass a new governing guideline about the rules and regulations to be followed by affiliated colleges and it should be strict on its stance and take action against those who fail to implement them.
There are over five student associations under the UoP umbrella, but the problem with them is that they do not work together with students on various issues faced by them. Students’ representatives and student organisations seem to be politically influenced and are busy with their own agenda.
My point is that only having an anti-ragging panel is not enough. They have to be active in preventing ragging on the campus, rather than dealing with the situation afterwards. Therefore, it is important to know what preventive measures colleges are taking to convey the message to students.
—Bhausaheb Ghodke, Lecturer, Garware College
Ragging is not an issue in my college
In our college, ragging is non-existent. Though I do not attend college regularly as I am on work quota, I have never seen any notice on the notice board about ragging nor am I aware of whom to contact, if I come across any such experience. I am also unaware of the anti-ragging helpline.
}—Himanshu Khatri, student, Suryadatta Group of Institutes
We plan a protest, if colleges don’t comply with norms
At All India Student Association (AISA), we are aware of the ragging incidents that take place in colleges. In the last two months, a few students have complained about ragging. Ragging not only happens on college campus, but also in hostels that are situated outside colleges. We have sent notices to various colleges to submit a report on how many ragging incidents have been registered with their anti-ragging panel.
Besides, we have also sent a letter to state higher and technical education minister Rajesh Tope to introduce strict measures to curb ragging in the state. We have sent a memorandum to the district collector to step in and direct city colleges to form anti-ragging committees and we have forwarded the same notice to principals of various colleges. If the colleges do not take any action, we plan to launch a statewide protest.
—Prashant Nikam, vice-president, All India Student Association (AISA), Maharashtra
No awareness prog has been held at my college
I am unaware of the existence of an anti-ragging committee in my college. I am not sure who is on the committee either. I have never come across any ragging incident in my college ever.
However, I have not seen notices or articles giving information about whom to contact in case we come across any such incident or experience it ourselves. I am also unaware of any anti-ragging helpline. As far as I know, the college has never organised any programmes on what to do if we face ragging.
—Sayali Gaikwad, std XII, Symbiosis College of Arts & Commerce
At MMCC, rules are made clear during admission
Colleges affiliated to the UGC, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and a university should compulsorily have anti-ragging committees.
As per the university directives, we have formed a panel to look into incidents of on-campus ragging. As a preventive measure we have displayed the rules on notice boards at specific locations on the campus to create awareness among students. We have also put up signboards displaying the helpline number.
In the last one year, we have not received any ragging complaints on our campus. The students are made aware of our strict anti-ragging rules through the prospectus during the admission procedure itself. Ragging in any form is strictly a no-no on our campus and we see to it that the students get our strong message.
—MD Lawrence, principal, Marathwada Mitra Mandal’s College of Commerce