GUWAHATI: The so-called ‘initiation rituals’ being practiced by a section of students in higher education is a crime. A sad reflection on Assam is that it is one of the 15 States of the country where the incidents of ragging have exceeded 100 in the past eight years – from 2009-2018. Not happy with the campus situation in Assam, the UGC (University Grant Commission) had to write a letter to Dispur asking it to make the State ragging-free.
According to the UGC, in the past eight years as many as 111 ragging incidents took place in various campuses of higher education in Assam. The break-up, as given by the UGC, is – three in 2009, six in 2010, six in 2011, four in 2012, 15 in 2013, eight in 2014, 9 in 2015, ten in 2016, 33 in 2017 and 17 in 2018.
Taking serious note of such an unhealthy development in Assam, a UGC top official wrote a letter to the Assam Chief Secretary: “Ragging is a crime and topmost priority has to be accorded to stop it immediately… I would like to express my concern on the fact that the number of ragging cases reported from your State is quite high. This is not acceptable and is adversely affecting the higher education system of the country.”
The official further wrote: “The UGC had earlier also written a letter on August 31, 2017 in this regard, but no response has been received from your side till date. Once again I request for your kind intervention in the matter for ensuring that the concern is addressed in a time-bound manner and your State becomes a ragging-free State at the earliest.”
In pursuance of a judgment of the Supreme Court of India on May 8, 2009 in a civil appeal, the UGC formed its regulations on curbing the menace of ragging in higher educational institutions 2009. The regulations notified on June 17, 2009 are to be mandatorily followed by all universities and colleges.
It was on December 1 this year the Directorate of Higher Education, Assam wrote a letter to all principals of colleges in the State to take steps against ragging their campuses.
Elsewhere in the country, Uttar Pradesh topped the list in ragging incidents. It is followed by West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.