Zero-tolerance To Ragging : Monitor Committee

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New Delhi, Jun 11 (UNI) Campuses which fail to prevent ragging of freshers may now have to pay a price, an expert committee aiming at zero-tolerance indicated this evening.

Disappointed at regulatory bodies' ''helplessness,'' the Supreme Court-appointed Committee for monitoring anti-ragging measures in higher educational institutions prescribed ''specific and strict regulations.'' The prescription came after the monitoring Committee, headed by Dr R K Raghavan, took stock of progress by regulatory bodies and other stakeholders directed by the Court, to enforce its recommendations.

Representatives of the University Grants Commission, the All India Council for Technical Education, the Medical Council of India, the Dental Council of India and the Nursing Council of India attended the meeting.

The UGC, its representatives told the Committee, has set up a separate cell to deal with ragging in universities and colleges, the Human Resource Development Ministry said in a statement.

They said a UGC visiting committee for the 11th Plan Development assistance would be responsible to sensitise universities about preventing ragging, the HRD statement said.

The Monitoring Committee felt that ''release of grants under various schemes of the UGC should be linked with the compliance by institutions with the directions of the Supreme Court''.

''Incentives by way of higher grants should be provided by the Commission to the higher educational institutions which ensure that ragging does not take place in their campuses in any form, the Committee felt,'' the statement said.

The Committee asked statutory regulators to direct institutions to incorporate in admission notices appropriate messages regarding zero-tolerance' towards ragging'.

Citing how ragging lowered higher education standards, the Committee held that regulators responsible for maintaining such standards ensure strict compliance with apex court directions.

It said wherever any ragging incident is reported and institutions do not take steps to redress the grievance, regulators must conduct enquiries through fact finding committees.

With a new academic session starting soon, the Committee urged the government to carry out an intensive multimedia campaign to reinforce the Supreme Court-directed anti-ragging measures.

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