The number of ragging complaints reported across the country has dropped dramatically over the past year, according to data from the University Grants Commission’s 24-hour helpline (1800-180-5522).
The helpline received complaints 365 complaints till December 15 this year, a drop of about 37% from last year’s 577.
The UGC helpline was set up in June 2009, after medical student Aman Kachroo died in a ragging incident in a college in Himachal Pradesh. The UGC also introduced a regulation to curb ragging.
“We are spreading the message that ragging is not acceptable anymore,” said Raj Kachroo, father of Aman and founder-trustee of the Aman Satya Kachroo Trust, the agency operating the helpline. “We want to sensitise as many college administrations as we can. We have been following up with colleges on a regular basis.”
Most complaints still come from engineering colleges, followed by medical colleges.
Maharashtra, however, remains in the top five states in terms of number of complaints received on the helpline since June 2009, with a total of 93. The states with largest tally are Uttar Pradesh (372), West Bengal (224), Orissa (174) and Madhya Pradesh (140).
This year, the helpline received 14 complaints from colleges in Maharashtra, down from the 40 last year.
In Mumbai, however, ragging is relatively rare. “People are more aware in this city, and there are fewer hostels, which is where ragging usually takes place,” said Mrudul Nile, director of student welfare at University of Mumbai.