The UGC has launched a web portal to facilitate the lodging of complaints against ragging. G. Krishnakumar says the portal also acts as a central database as students are required to file an anti-ragging affidavit.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has stepped up its efforts to weed out the menace of ragging from campuses across the country.

Alarmed by the increasing incidence of ragging, the Supreme Court passed a judgment in 2009 issuing guidelines for setting up a central crisis hotline and anti-ragging database.

Based on those directives, the UGC has developed the web portal www.antiragging.in. The portal, launched by Union Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal on July 26, provides students an online platform to register their complaints against the barbarism of the campus kind.

Affidavit

UGC Acting Chairman Ved Prakash told The Hindu-EducationPlus over the phone from New Delhi that it was mandatory for every student and his or her parents to submit an anti-ragging affidavit at the time of first admission and thereafter each year at the time of annual registration.

The authorities had received 50 complaints online when this report was filed. There were 42 pending cases, while action was taken on eight cases. Nearly 700 anti-ragging affidavits were uploaded on the site.

Prof. Prakash said the affidavits would be stored electronically and would contain the details of each student. “The portal has information on anti-ragging regulations and directives issued by the Supreme Court. It has facilities to lodge a complaint against ragging,” he said.

The aim of the portal is to eliminate ragging in all its forms from universities, deemed universities and other higher education institutions in the country.

This will be achieved by preventing its occurrence and punishing those who indulge in ragging, in accordance with the Supreme Court regulations.

Status

Prof. Prakash said the complainants could keep track of the status of their applications and follow-up action would be taken based on the nature of the complaints. These would be passed on to the head of the institution, besides the local administration and the Superintendent of Police or the Sub-Divisional Magistrate.

Explaining that the registration of affidavits online was an easy task, UGC authorities pointed out that the complainants need to log on to www.antiragging.in. or www.amanmovement.org. They had to click on the link “Online affidavits.” Step two was to fill information as desired and submit the form. On successful completion, petitioners would receive copies of the affidavits, both for students and parents, through e-mail.

Parents need not worry if they do not have an e-mail address or phone number. They can give the e-mail id or other contact details of friends or relatives.

Complainants can start afresh and submit the information again, if they make mistakes while submitting the form.

Electronic storage

The apex court has ordered that contact details of students must be collected from these affidavits and stored electronically in a central location.

Earlier, the colleges used to collect the information but it was not stored in any central location.

An online procedure for downloading anti-ragging affidavits has been developed as part of the ragging prevention programme.

College authorities need not collect information separately and compile it from now onwards thanks to the new facility. The objective of the initiative is to save time while lodging a complaint against ragging.

Students can also call any time on the toll-free number 1800 180 5522 or send an e-mail to helpline@antiragging.in as part of the ragging prevention programme. The college administration will extend help to the students besides the local police and the local administration.

The UGC says anybody can register a complaint of ragging of a student.

It need not be the victim alone who should lodge the complaint.

The commission has pointed out that it is the duty of every individual who comes across an incident of ragging to inform the call centre.

It will be difficult for the authorities to take action, if the person wants to protect his identity. Students can always log on to www.antiragging.in or www.amanmovement.org to track the progress of their complaint.

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