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24-hour anti-ragging helpline by June 15

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Staff Reporter

Guilty student can be fined up to Rs.2.5 lakh

Students have to give undertaking before joining

NEW DELHI: With the new academic year due to start in the next couple of months, the University Grants Commission has finalised new regulations to curb the menace of ragging in higher educational institutions, including 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 the call centre and the 24-hour helpline. It will be operational by June 15,” UGC chairman Sukhadeo Thorat told reporters here on Wednesday. The UGC will provide financial support, while Ed.CIL will 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,” added Prof. Thorat. Ed.CIL will have a unit that will 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 nuisance. 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. Apart from expulsion, a student can also be debarred from admission to any other institution for a specified period.

At the institution level, the UGC/Statutory/Regulatory body concerned may withhold grants allocated to it, or even declare that the institute does not have the minimum academic standards and warn potential candidates for admission.

As per the new regulations, before getting enrolled, students have to give an undertaking that they will not indulge in any act of ragging and will not hurt anyone physically or psychologically.

The regulations also stipulate that the application form will also have an undertaking to be signed by the parent/guardian of the applicant whereby he/she would agree to abide by the punishment meted out to his/her ward if found guilty of ragging. Students seeking admission to the hostel will have to submit another undertaking for accommodation.

Anti-ragging squads

Every institution must have an anti-ragging committee and an anti-ragging squad.

According to these regulations, the institutions will be required to organise joint sensitisation programmes for freshers and seniors, and arrange for regular psychological counselling and orientation for students during the first three months of the new academic year.

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