Bengaluru: In a bid to curb growing cases of ragging in college campuses, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has formulated a six-point regulation and issued it to all higher educational institutions (HEIs).
The circular, issued by secretary of UGC P.K. Thakur, is based on the findings of a nationwide survey commissioned by the Supreme Court to understand various perspectives on why ragging was getting more common in campuses and to chalk out solutions at different levels.
According to the findings of the study, proper surveillance consisting of a human system, apart from installation of CCTV cameras, along with promoting inclusion and addressing diversity related concerns are essential factors HEIs should consider with urgent priority.
“The findings clearly indicate that ragging occurs in the context of power relationships, in a deeply hierarchical and unequal society and is reflective of these social processes. It also occurs as a result of a lack of appreciation of the diversities we need to celebrate in a country like ours - of ethnicity, language and religion,” the report stated.
Pointing out the importance of providing psychosocial support equally to the victims and the perpetrators as well, the commission advices HIEs to ensure that the counsellor is in constant engagement with the student community at large to sensitise and train them to identify issues relating to power and inequalities, prejudice, discrimination, exclusion, harassment and violence. Creative methods to tackle such issues can be encouraged to neutralise the potential for cyclical abuse at institutions, adds the study report.
The exploratory study titled ‘Psychosocial Study of Ragging in Selected Educational Institutions in India’ submitted by a four-member committee has also urged institutions right from the school level to address the problem of ragging.
“Indications of exclusion and intolerance within the school, triggered and maintained by school systems, parental prejudices and the warped hierarchies of the larger community surrounding the school later form the roots of discrimination in HIEs,” the committee observed.