When I joined my college 4 years back, first question my parents inquired about, whenever I called back home was regarding ragging. Not only me but my entire family was stressed out due to the daemon called ragging. We were treated as if we were the least wanted species on earth. We were made to do everything that as human we were not supposed to do. In the garb of introducing us to college life, our seniors made our life hellish. We had to make class notes for seniors, take their cloths to laundry and complete their lab manuals etc. Some amongst us dared to complaint to authorities, but hardly any action was taken.
But there was a silver lining in this gloomy picture. By the end of first semester, we all were bound into a family. We would get all the books and notes from our seniors. They cared about us like our elder brother. The best part was your ‘boss’ (this is what we called our seniors) would never let you pay for anything. Suppose you were in the college canteen and your boss happened to come there, then he would have to pay for whatever you eat. So this was the price that seniors had to pay for entire four years.
But every junior didn’t have such a happy ending to his story. Many like Durgesh Shukla, Chetan Raj, S. P. Manoj lost their life or were forced to commit suicide due to ragging menace. Finally impelled by Aman Kachroo's death, University Grants Commission (UGC) framed UGC Regulations on curbing the menace of ragging in Higher Educational Institutions, 2009, in order to prohibit, prevent and eliminate the scourge of ragging in Indian Universities. This has made ragging a criminal Offence.
In addition, Apex court has issued following directives to be implemented without any further lapse of time
(1)The punishment to be meted out has to be exemplary and justifiably harsh to act as a deterrent against recurrence of such incidents.
(2) Every single incident of ragging where the victim or his parent/guardian or the Head of institution is not satisfied with the institutional arrangement for action, a First Information Report (FIR) must be filed without exception by the institutional authorities with the local police authorities. Any failure on the part of the institutional authority or negligence or deliberate delay in lodging the FIRwith the local police shall be construed to be an act of culpable negligence on the part of the institutional authority. If any victim or his parent/guardian of ragging intends to file FIR directly with the police, that will not absolve the institutional authority from the requirement of filing the FIR.
(3) Courts should make an effort to ensure that cases involving ragging are taken up on a priority basis to send the correct messagethat ragging is not only to be discourages but also to be dealt with sternness.
(4) In addition, the court directed the possibility of introducing in the educational curriculum a subject relating to ragging shall beexplored by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the respective State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT). This aspect can be included in the teaching of the subjects "Human Rights".
(5) In the prospectus to be issued for admission by educational institutions, it shall be clearly stipulated that in case the applicant for admission is found to have indulged in ragging in the past or if it is noticed later that he has indulged in ragging, admission may be refused or he shall be expelled from the educational institution.
(6) The Central Government and the State Governments shall launch a programme giving wide publicity to the menace of ragging and the consequences which follow in case any student is detected to have been involved in ragging.
(7) It shall be the collective responsibility of the authorities and functionaries of the concerned institution and their role shall also be open to scrutiny for the purpose of finding out whether they have taken effective steps for preventing ragging and in case of their failure, action can be taken; for example, denial of any grant-in-aid or assistance from the State Governments.
(8) Anti-ragging committees and squads shall be forthwith formed by the institutions and it shall be the job of the committee or the squad, as the case may be, to see that the Committee's recommendations, particularly those noted above, are observed without exception and if it is noticed that there is any deviation, the same shall be forthwith brought to the notice of this court.
(9) The Committee constituted pursuant to the order of this Court shall continue to monitor the functioning of the anti-ragging committees and the squads to be formed. They shall also monitor the implementation of the recommendations to which reference has been made above.
These steps have drastically reduced the ragging. Many colleges have been successful in establishing ‘zero ragging campus’.There have been two severe impacts of Anti-ragging act by UGC-
1) Most students don’t dare to promote or encourage ragging activities due to heavy penalties and punishment that they may invite if they are caught.2) College has no option but to take stern steps if any genuine ragging incident is reported by any student. (For details refer http://www.ugc.ac.in/ragging.html)
This is a good news for all parents and children who are too tensed in apprehension of ragging. With UGS empowering you with Anti ragging act, you may not be ragged at all. I personally feel that you should not mind if you are asked to introduce yourself. But anything beyond that, you
1)can access the Toll Free Helpline 1800-180-5522 and register your complaint
2) contact Ed. CIL (India) Limited, Ed.CIL House, 18A, Sector-16A, Noida-201 301, UP.
Wishing you a ragging free and success full college life
Your Elder Brother.