Odisha Govt Gears Up To Curb Ragging In Educational Institutions

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Bhubaneswar: Embarrassed by the disconcerting report of the Union HRD Ministry that Odisha ranks sixth in the country in terms of ragging, the state government has directed all educational institutions to initiate exemplary action against the erring students.

Talking to mediapersons here on Friday, Higher Education minister Anant Das said winking inside the premises of the educational institutions would be taken as an offence.

“Any form of ragging will not be tolerated. If any student is found guilty, he/she would be rusticated from the institutions without any consideration,” he added.

The minister further said he has asked the Higher Education secretary to issue circular to all educational institutions to strictly adhere to the directive of the state government and take appropriate action against those involved in ragging.

Meanwhile, authorities of all universities and some educational institutions have formed anti-ragging cell and circulated posters at several places inside the campus to apprise the students of the quantum of punishment for ragging the junior students.

Talking about the measures taken to curb ragging in the Utkal University, Director, College Development Council (CDC) of the university, Prof Santosh Tripathy said the university had formed an anti-ragging cell much earlier. The cell has the nodal officer, hostel wardens, students’ union advisor and the Director, Students’ Welfare (DSW) as members.

“The cell will probe allegations of the students and submit its report to the university authorities who will take appropriate action against the erring students,” Tripathy added.

He further said that the university authorities have put up posters mentioning about the punishment those involved in such acts would attract.

“The admission of the students found involved in the ragging will be cancelled. They will not be allowed to attend the classes, their examination results will be withheld and their scholarship would be cancelled,” Tripathy pointed out.

He also informed that the students, who are the victims of ragging, can contact the toll-free anti-ragging helpline 1800-180-5522 so that immediate action would be taken against the guilty.

Apart from Utkal University, authorities of the RD Women’s University, IIT-Bhubaneswar, NISER-Bhubaneswar, BJB Autonomous College and other major educational institutions in the Odisha capital have taken up similar measures.

According to a senior official of the Higher Education department, 207 ragging cases in Odisha were reported between 2013 and 2017. On the basis of the number, the state was ranked fourth in the country. Going by the number of ragging that took place in 2017, there were 46 cases of ragging in Odisha, which was sixth highest in the country. The highest incidents of ragging in 2017 was reported from Uttar Pradesh with 143 followed by 100 in Madhya Pradesh, 99 in West Bengal, 53 in Bihar and 49 in Karnataka.

“Taking note of these disturbing trend, the department reminds the educational institutions during the beginning the educational session every year asking them to take necessary measures,” he said adding that while all universities in the state have formed the anti-ragging cell, the remaining institutions which have not formed the cell, will be asked to form the cell at the earliest and put up posters to inform the students about the consequences of ragging,” the official added.

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