UGC for psychosocial support, counselling to curb Ragging

Fresh measures are being introduced following the recommendations of a four-member committee comprising mental and public health professionals set up by the Supreme Court in its 252-page report titled ‘Psychosocial study of ragging in selected educational institutions in India’.

lucknow Updated: Nov 22, 2017 13:50 IST
K Sandeep Kumar
K Sandeep Kumar
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
UGC,Psychosocial support,Ragging
The Commission has asked the universities to use creative methods like drama, art, films and other media to create awareness.

As part of the efforts to curb ragging, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked the universities to ensure psychosocial support and counselling for victims as well as perpetrators to “neutralise the cyclical abuse”.

In a recent missive to universities, UGC has called for engagement of counsellors with students in the form of sensitisation and training modules on power and inequalities, prejudice, discrimination, exclusion, harassment and violence.

The Commission has asked the universities to use creative methods like drama, art, films and other media to create awareness.

It also directed the universities to lay down a clear standard operating procedure (SOP) to deal with the cases of ragging.

“Students should be made aware of the rules as well as procedure for filing a complaint. They should have information about the contact persons and the procedure that is followed by institutions imparting higher education, with assurance of anonymity of complaint,” the UGC added.

Fresh measures are being introduced following the recommendations of a four-member committee comprising mental and public health professionals set up by the Supreme Court in its 252-page report titled ‘Psychosocial study of ragging in selected educational institutions in India’.

The committee was constituted after the death of Aman Kachroo, a medical student who was allegedly killed by his seniors in a medical college in Kangra. The report, submitted in 2015, was based on the survey carried out in 37 colleges of the country. It said at least 40 per cent students faced some form of ragging on campus but less than 9 per cent cases were reported.

The key recommendations of the UGC included organising welcome and orientation programmes at the beginning of every academic session involving the students to send a clear message regarding acceptable and unacceptable behaviours.

“This must include zero tolerance to ragging, sexual harassment and discrimination based on caste, religion, ethnicity etc,” the letter said.

The UGC said apart from installation of CCTV cameras, a proper surveillance mechanism consisting of a human system of wardens and mentors should be institutionalised wherein they should be in regular touch with the students and promote their inclusion in extra-curricular activities.

“Higher educational institutions must provide an environment where students learn the values of democratic, mutually respectful relationships, non-violent conflict resolution, autonomous and critical thinking, compassion and caring, respect for differences, and fairness,” the directive said.

“This can be done by holding programmes and activities that foster civic engagement and responsibility, critical reflection on social issues and deliberation on values,” it added.

First Published: Nov 22, 2017 13:50 IST