With the beginning of the new academic session, the Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University (HPAU), Palampur, has set up a 24-hour anti- ragging helpline at its campus to check harassment of freshers and maintain the academic atmosphere.
“The helpline will function under the direct control of vice-chancellor, Dr KK Katoch,” said joint director, information and public relations, Dr Hirday Paul Singh.
The university authorities have provided helpline number 603 to the students residing in hostels. The number will work in hostels, constituent colleges, administrative offices and other facilities in the campus. Its extension has been provided at the vice- chancellor's residence.
“Any student in distress or whoever finds any illegal activity being happening in the campus can call on this number and can also talk to vice- chancellor directly,” said Dr Singh. The number will work round-the-clock.
The students in medical emergency can also call on this number. Besides, the phone numbers of the vice- chancellor and other officials have been pasted in hostels.
Meanwhile, Dr Katoch while chairing the meeting of anti- ragging committee held on Saturday, called upon the students to stay away from ragging activities and maintain cordial relations among themselves.
“HPAU has remained a ragging- free institution and all the students should keep the tradition alive,” said Dr Katoch.
He said that electronic surveillance system has been strengthened in the whole campus including colleges, hostels and all vulnerable points and there was a system in place to monitor it. “The students, especially the new students, may call an emergency number anytime,” said Dr Katoch adding that anyone found violating the sanctity will be dealt with strongly as per the Anti-ragging Act and the relevant rules.
Students' welfare officer, Dr SS Kanwar, informed about the various steps taken to prohibit ragging in the campus and hostels. He said that sports tournaments have been started so that the new and old students may mix among one another. He also asked the students to come forward unhesitatingly if they face any problem and also asked them to shun negativity. The HPAU has also constituted a 15-member anti- ragging cell, headed by a senior official, which comprises representatives from the student community.