Sunday, June 21, 2009

Toll free Helpline for Ragging

Toll-free helpline for ragging

(A toll-free helpline for dealing with ragging has been set up by the University Grants Commission. The helpline will be operational round-the-clock. Immediate action will be taken within fifteen minutes by alerting appropriate authorities)

UNIVERSITY GRANTS Commission (UGC) has set up a toll-free helpline for dealing with ragging. Any victim of ragging can ring up the toll-free number 18001805522 or send an email to The helpline will be operational round the clock. Immediate action will be taken within fifteen minutes by alerting appropriate authorities, be it the head of the educational institution, the district collector or the police. The monitoring of progress of follow-up activities will also included.

The anti-ragging guidelines issued by UGC defines ragging in a broader way to consider all activities that constitute ragging. They are applicable to all educational institutions both in government and public sectors including transport facilities. The culprits may be 'rusticated' for four sessions or fined up to 2.5 lakhs

The Supreme Court had recommended setting up of such a helpline only in May 2009.
The helpline is already in place now in June 2009, well ahead of the next academic session. UGC and the Ministry of HRD must be complimented on this fast move. Reports of appreciation and high hopes have come in from all sections like students, educational authorities and social activists.

The helpline will accelerate the process of booking of culprits, investigations and such follow-up actions. Success in this sphere may improve compliance on the part of college authorities; may encourage more victims to register their complaints; it may also bring about some transparency as the progress of cases in ragging will be on the website for everyone to see.

However, preventing ragging can be achieved only by changing the mindset of students. The same students who protest and detest ragging by seniors, engage in ragging when they become seniors. This is a psychological problem of just feeling superior. Only consistent counseling and constant vigil may prevent ragging.

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