UGC moots digital & human surveillance on campus to check ragging

UGC moots digital & human surveillance on campus to check ragging

The University Grants Commission has directed institutes of higher education to install CCTV cameras and create "a proper" surveillance mechanism involving hostel wardens to check ragging on campus.

Issuing an office order, the higher education regulator has also asked the universities and colleges to come up with "a clear standard operating procedure" to deal with   ragging cases.

"Students should be made aware of the rules as well as the procedure for filing a complaint, whom to approach and their contact information, the procedure that will be followed by the institutions, with assurance of keeping anonymity of complainant," it added.

The UGC, in its circular also listed the key recommendations of a four-member committee, appointed by the Supreme Court in 2009, to deal with the menace of ragging.

"You (heads of the institutions) are requested to implement these recommendations and ensure a ragging-free campus and create an institutional climate which is supportive and fair, with faculty who are attuned to and interested in student development, that will become the foundation of a dynamic culture
that is just, progressive and open to change towards an egalitarian society," UGC secretray P K Thakur said in the circular.

The higher education institutions should also deploy their officials to remain in regular touch with the students and promote their "inclusion in activities" such as games, sports and extra-curricular activities in the hostels.

"The higher education institutions must provide an environment where the students learn the values of democratic, mutually respectful relationships, non-violent conflict resolution, autonomous and critical thinking, compassion and caring, respect for differences, fairness and so on," the UGC said.

This can be done by holding programmes and activities that foster "civic engagement and responsibility, critical reflection on social issues and deliberation on values," it added.

Foster diversity

The Commission also asked the vice chancellors of the universities to make arrangements for providing psychosocial support and counselling to both the victims of ragging and the perpetrators.

"The institutions must appreciate the huge diversities in the institution in terms of ethnicity, language, religion, sexuality etc., and effectively address the diversity related concerns by assessing and monitoring the social climate of institutions through regular surveys of students and staff," it added.

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