Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: With the new academic session due to start in the next couple of months, the University Grants Commission has finalised regulations for curbing the menace of ragging in higher educational institutions, including the setting up of a national toll-free anti-ragging helpline by June 15.

“The Union Human Resource Development Ministry as well as the UGC has approved the setting up of the helpline. The Educational Consultants India Limited [Ed.CIL] has been given the job of setting up of a call centre and the 24-hour helpline. It will be operational by June 15,” UGC chairman Sukhadeo Thorat told reporters here.

The UGC would provide financial support, while Ed.CIL would man the helpline. “Whenever a complaint is received by the helpline at any time, it will be transmitted to the head of the institution within 15 minutes. It will then be the responsibility of the head to lodge an FIR, or take other suitable action,” said Professor Thorat. Ed.CIL would have a unit that would solicit the kind of action taken by the head of the institution in different incidents of ragging.

Under the new regulations, the UGC has come up with stricter penalties for students found involved in ragging, as well as the institutions that fail to root out this menace.

The regulations were adopted at a meeting with different statutory councils, such as the Medical Council of India and the National Council of Teacher Education, last month.

Depending on the nature and gravity of the ragging offence, a student can be suspended from attending classes, and in extreme cases rusticated from the institution. Not just that, a student can be fined up to Rs.2.5 lakh if found guilty.