Ensure elimination of ragging, Prez to academic institutions

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New Delhi, May 20: President Pratibha Patil on Friday, Ma 19 asked the chiefs of premier academic institutions including those of IITs and IIMs to ensure complete elimination of the "reprehensible and hideous" practise of ragging saying it is "vitiating" the educational atmosphere.

"...(there is a) need to create zero tolerance to the reprehensible and hideous practise of ragging. The menace of ragging, which has been vitiating the educational atmosphere, needs to be completely eliminated. I am sure you (IIT, IIM directors and chiefs of other educational institutions) will vigorously work towards it with all sincerity," she said.

Speaking at a seminar on the propagation of a green initiative concept--Roshni-- developed in Rashtrapati Bhavan, Patil digressed from the topic and began to talk about ragging.

She acknowledged saying she was "taking advantage" of the presence of chiefs of premier educational institutes of the country in the seminar as the issue concerns lakhs of students.

"While we discuss nature-friendly agendas to improve the external environs, I want to take advantage of the presence of heads of premier educational institutions, to digress a little and particularly emphasise the need to concurrently instill internal harmony in their sylvan surroundings," she said.

Thereby, we will be nurturing not only a beautiful flower, but one with an attractive fragrance, she said.

Patil while talking about environment degradation said "we cannot afford to remain apathetic or indifferent to the mounting degradation of our natural eco-systems."

"In today's world, with cities being engines of economic growth, the phenomenon of urbanisation has come to stay," she added.

"Roshni (a green initiative concept which began in 2008 in the Rashtrapati Bhavan premises) symbolises a step in that direction. It seeks to engender a mindset, wherein we all contribute to put in place an ecologically sustainable green habitat, wherein all stakeholders enjoy unencumbered access to urban services.

"Wherein overall developmental imperatives are attained in harmony with the tenets of inclusiveness and equity and wherein, men and women alike, receive adequate opportunity to qualitatively improve their lives and enhance their social worth," she said.

Patil also said environmental degradation is not a problem which cannot be solved and proper use of human resources can help to accomplish the job.

"...The creativity, ingenuity and innovation of humanity is always at hand to redress human-beings'' self-created problems. We must look at the future with a hope, which rests on the confidence that our existence never poses problems that humankind cannot resolve," she said.

Patil said that the one-day seminar was held to deliberate on how best to disseminate the Roshni idea beyond the precincts of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

PTI

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