Can spiritual training eradicate ragging from Indian colleges?
The Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Kakinada (JNTU-K), a leading university in Andhra Pradesh, thinks it can. It has roped in Ramakrishna Mission and some other religious organisations to “to help build the character of students.”
The university is hoping, that this will automatically address the issue of ragging and other aggressive behaviour.
More than half a dozen students have lost their lives to ragging across India so far this year. In Andhra Pradesh, one student has committed suicide and two others have attempted to do so in the last 100 days.
The Andhra Pradesh Prohibition of Ragging Act, 1997, and other such laws enacted by various states have failed to curb this menace.
“I was disturbed by the recent incidents of ragging and other acts of violence on campuses. More than policing, what we need is behavioral change. So, I decided to rope in Ramakrishna Mission to help us out,” said Allam Appa Rao, vice-chancellor of JNTU-K.
The university, which has 220 affiliated colleges and 1.8 lakh students, is also changing its curriculum to make yoga and pranayam compulsory.
The initiative comes close on the heels of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy’s blunt warning, earlier in June, that he wouldn’t mind “giving gate passes” (a euphemism for sacking) to VCs if they failed to stop ragging.