HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Mandatory anti-ragging affidavits done away with

Mallica Joshi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 13, 2014
First Published: 01:35 IST(13/6/2014) | Last Updated: 01:36 IST(13/6/2014)

The anti-ragging affidavits, made mandatory for students every year if they want admission in any higher education institution, will be done away with this year.

The Raghavan Committee, set up by the University Grants Commission to suggest measures to counter ragging has decided that students don’t need to submit notarised anti- ragging affidavits this year.

“The committee met on Thursday and it was decided that the practice can be done away with this year. Students will have to submit undertakings vowing that they won’t indulge in ragging but the affidavit will not be necessary,” said Rajendra Prasad, member of the committee and principal of Ramjas College.

Parents and applicants had to run around each year before the admission process began to make sure they had a notarised affidavit ready at the time of admission. A number of students would come to know of this requirement only when they reached college to take admission.

“The idea behind having an affidavit was dual. One was to inform parents and their children of the consequences for indulging in ragging and second making them realize that colleges were serious about the affidavit. When the students have to work towards getting something, they realise its value,” said Prasad.

According to committee members, the regulations and the recommendations have successfully managed to reduce ragging in the last few years.

“As per statistics gathered over the years, instances of ragging have come down remarkably since the recommendations came into place,” he added.            

The committee now has another challenge ahead of it - to tackle the menace of racial discrimination.

Former HRD minister MM Pallam Raju had written to UGC chairperson in February this year, asking him to consider including racial discrimination against students, especially from northeast India, as ragging.    

The Raghavan Committee has decided to include racial discrimination under the ambit of ragging now and further clarity on the issue is expected after a few more meetings of the committee.

The decision to do away with affidavits, meanwhile, has pleased applicants.

“I understand that the government had to take strict action against ragging when the recommendations came out in 2007, but we have been informed and made aware about the pitfalls of such practices in school itself. As long as institutions continue to monitor the situation at the ground, I don’t think an affidavit is needed,” said Prateek Chaddha, a DU aspirant.

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