Strict vigil to ensure anti-ragging measures in colleges

Strict vigil to ensure anti-ragging measures in colleges

Colleges across the country can expect tougher monitoring for anti-ragging measures this year as the University Grants Commission’s anti-ragging initiative will sharpen its focus on compliance with regulations on the part of all higher education institutions.

Prof Raj Kachroo who spearheads the Aman Movement against ragging in education institutions, said the initiative would be accelerated from this year, with surprise inspections and insistence on voluntary compliance of norms by colleges.

The UGC has assigned the task of monitoring the anti-ragging helpline and maintenance of related database to Aman Satya Kachroo Trust, founded by Prof Kachroo. The trust was founded as tribute to his son Aman Kachroo, a medical student in Himachal Pradesh who succumbed to brutal ragging by his seniors.

Speaking to Deccan Herald here, Prof Kachroo said the focus until now rested heavily on the helpline and redressing of complaints.

From now on, it would be extended to closely monitoring the educational institutions for compliance of norms.

There are three envisioned components of the anti-ragging programme: The first is the complaint register which involves the call center where the Trust receives the complaints and ensures that the complaint is resolved as soon as possible.

The second is the compliance of regulation by colleges and the third part is spreading the awareness.

“We have been striving towards redressing complaints. We do not close any complaint until the complainant is satisfied. We also have been consistently working towards creating awareness. However, we found that the weakest link in the programme was abiding by regulations on part of colleges,” Prof Kachroo explained.

When it comes to the number of complaints, there are five states identified by the organisation as dark spots – Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.

As per the specifications by the UGC, the Trust is required to even monitor action taken by authorities in dealing with these complaints and is required to submit a fortnightly report to UGC, MCI and AICTE in this regard.

In achieving this, the team has to overcome their biggest challenge – Database. There are more than 45,000 colleges in the country.

However, no government agency is sure of the exact number.

“For us to closely monitor all the institutions, we first need to get in touch with them, beginning with their address and phone number.”

Until now, their team has been successful in creating a database for 10,000 institutions, out of which they have been able to get in touch with about 8,500 colleges, Kachroo added.

Aman Satya Trust has also managed to rope in one million students for online undertaking of the UGC mandatory affidavit against ragging.

Every student is required to fill this affidavit during admissions. While earlier this was on paper, now the process has been made online.

The Trust has been able to get in touch with over three lakh parents, too.

They send across at least 25,000 emails every day to students and parents, Prof Kachroo said, which explains about what constitutes ragging and the implications for it.

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