Staff Reporter

Classes for newcomers to begin early

Colleges to adopt zero-tolerance towards ragging

Seminar on ragging prohibition Act

on Sunday

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The academic session for newly-enrolled students in colleges will begin two weeks ahead of their seniors from this academic year. The move is expected to shield the new arrivals from ragging.

The decision was announced here at joint press conference convened by K. Ramakrishnan, District Judge and chairman, District Legal Service Authority, and A. Jayakrishnan, Vice-Chancellor, University of Kerala, and the representatives of National Service Scheme (NSS).

The organisations have joined hands to create awareness of the menace among the public and parents.

The fight against ragging will now begin even before a candidate is granted admission to an institution. “From now on, newcomers would have to sign an affidavit pledging to fight against ragging on the campus in front of their parents,” said Mr. Jayakrishnan.

“All educational institutions should adopt zero-tolerance towards ragging,” he said. According to him, the University can disaffiliate any college that does not comply with the anti-ragging directives issued by the authorities concerned, including the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the University Grants Commission.

Describing ragging as a dehumanising act, Mr. Jayakrishnan said the menace had become more widespread over the years. “If it [ragging] was confined mostly to professional colleges during our college years, now it had spread to almost all educational institutions,” he said.

District judge Mr. Ramakrishnan was of the view that the fear of ragging had a psychological effect on the students and their parents. “Parents were often reluctant to register a complaint against the harassers out of fear and ignorance about the law,” he said. “People should be aware that there is a law in the State against ragging,” said Mr. Ramakrishnan.

To highlight the various legal and social aspects of ragging, the Kerala State Legal Services Authority in association with the University of Kerala and the NSS will conduct a seminar on the ‘Kerala Ragging Prohibition Act 1998’ to create awareness among Principals, teachers, hostel wardens, students and members of anti-ragging cell in the city on Sunday. Classes will be led by legal luminaries and top police officials, including S.R. Bannurmath, Chief Justice of Kerala High Court, and Jacob Punnoose, Director-General of Police.