Prohibition of Ragging in Higher Educational Institutions of West Bengal
Higher Education. Ragging.
GOVERNMENT OF WEST BENGAL
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION
BIKASH BHAVAN, SALT LAKE, KOLKATA – 700091
No. 780-Edn(U)/10M-75/2018 Date: 14.08.2023
Subject: Prohibition of Ragging in the Higher Educational Institutions in the State of West Bengal
In view of the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India dated 8th May 2009 read with the recommendations of Raghavan Committee dated 7th May 2007, Regulations issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) from time to time, the West Bengal Prohibition of Ragging in Educational Institutions at 2000, the West Bengal Prohibition of Ragging in Educational Institutions Rules, 2001, to prohibit, prevent and eliminate the scourge of ragging including any conduct by any student or students whether by words spoken or written or by an act which has the effect of teasing, treating or handling with rudeness a fresher or any other student, or indulging in rowdy or indisciplined activities by any student or students which causes or is likely to cause annoyance, hardship or psychological harm or to raise fear or apprehension thereof in any fresher or any other student or asking any student to do any act which such student will not in the ordinary course do and which has the effect of causing or generating a sense of shame, or torment or embarrassment so as to adversely affect the physique or psyche of such fresher or any other student, with or without an intent to derive a sadistic pleasure or showing off power, authority or superiority by a student over any fresher or any other student, in all higher education institutions in the State and thereby, to provide for healthy development, physically and psychologically of all students, the competent authority in the Higher Education Department (HED) has decided to issue the following guidelines to curb the menace of ragging in Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) of the State.
a. Measures for prevention of Ragging at the institutional Level
All HEIs in the State are directed to follow the guidelines in this regard and enclosed at Annexure-I of this Circular. (Annexure-I Enclosed)
b. Constitution and composition of the Anti-Ragging Committee, Mentoring and Monitoring Cell and other suitable measures:-
All HEIs in the State are directed to follow the Guidelines stated in this regard and enclosed at Annexure-II of this Circular (Annexure-II Enclosed)
c. Constitution of State and District level Anti Ragging Committees:-
All HEIs and District Magistrates including the Commissioner of Police, Kolkata are requested to follow guidelines stated at Annexure-III of this Circular. (Annexure-III Enclosed)
d. State level Committee to look into the complaints lodged by the students/ guardians regarding inaction, negligence on the part of the management of the Educational Institutions etc.- the Competent Authority has decided to Constitute a State Level Committee read with provisions of Section 7 and 8 of the West Bengal Prohibition of Ragging in Educational Institutions Act, 2000 and Rule 5, 6 and 7 of the West Bengal Prohibition of Ragging in Educational Institutions Rules, 2001. A copy of the said committee is annexed at Annexure-IV of this Circular, for suitable compliance by all HEIs in the State. (Annexure-IV Enclosed)
This Circular is issued in public interest and with the approval of the Competent Authority.
Senior Special Secretary
Measures for prevention of ragging at the institution level as per relevant Regulations (6.1, 6.2) of the University Grants Commission dated July 4, 2009
I. An Institution shall take the following steps in regard to admission or Registration of students namely,
a) Every public declaration of intent by any institution, in any electronic, audiovisual or print or any other media, for admission of students to any course of study shall expressly provide that ragging is totally prohibited in the institution, and anyone found guilty of ragging and/or abetting ragging, whether actively or passively, or being a part of a conspiracy to promote ragging, is liable to be punished in accordance with the provisions of any penal law for the time being in force.
b) The brochure of admission/ instruction booklet or the prospectus, whether in print or electronic format, shall prominently print UGC Regulations 2009 in full. Provided that the institution shall also draw attention to any law concerning ragging and its consequences, as may be applicable to the institution publishing such brochure of admission/ instruction booklet or the prospectus. Provided further that the telephone numbers of the Anti-Ragging Helpline and all the important functionaries in the institution, including but not limited to the Head of the institution, faculty members, members of the Anti-Ragging Committees and Anti-Ragging Squads, District and Sub-Divisional authorities, Wardens of hostels, and other functionaries or authorities where relevant, shall be published in the brochure of admission/ instruction booklet or the prospectus.
c) Where an institution is affiliated to a University and publishes a brochure of admission/ instruction booklet or a prospectus, the affiliating university shall ensure that the affiliated institution shall comply with the provisions of clause (a) and clause (b) above.
d) The application form for admission, enrollment or registration shall contain an affidavit, (It shall be compulsory for each student and his/ guardians to submit an online undertaking each academic year at either of the two designated websites viz. www.antiragging.in & www.amanmovement.org and the revised procedure is as per D.O. No. F.1-152009(ARC) Pt-III dated December 2018 issued to Vice-Chancellors of all Universities and Principals of all Colleges by the University Grants Commission.) mandatorily in English and in Hindi and/or in one of the regional languages known to the applicant, as provided in the English language in Annexure I to UGC Regulations 2009 on anti-ragging, to be filled up and signed by the applicant to the effect that he/she has read and understood the provisions of UGC Regulations as well as the provisions of any other law for the time being in force, and is aware of the prohibition of ragging and the punishments prescribed, both under penal laws as well as under the said Regulations and also affirm to the effect that he/she has not been expelled and/or debarred by any institution and further aver that he/she would not indulge, actively or passively, in the actor abet the act of ragging and if found guilty of ragging and/or abetting ragging, is liable to be proceeded against under these Regulations or under any penal law or any other law for the time being in force and such action would include but is not limited to debarment or expulsion of such student.
e) The application for admission shall be accompanied by a document in the form of, or annexed to, the School Leaving Certificate/ Transfer Certificate/ Migration Certificate/ Character Certificate reporting on the inter-personal/social behavioral pattern of the applicant, to be issued by the school or institution last attended by the applicant, so that the institution can thereafter keep watch on the applicant, if admitted, whose behavior has been commented in such document.
f) A student seeking admission to a hostel forming part of the institution, or seeking to reside in any temporary premises not forming part of the institution, including a private commercially managed lodge or hostel, shall have to submit additional affidavits countersigned by his/her parents/guardians in the form prescribed along with his/her application.
g) Before the commencement of the academic session in any institution, the Head of the Institution shall convene and address a meeting of various functionaries/ agencies, such as Hostel Wardens, representatives of students, parents/ guardians, faculty, district administration including the police, to discuss the measures to be taken to prevent ragging in the institution and steps to be taken to identify those indulging in or abetting ragging and punish them.
h) The institution shall, to make the community at large and the students in particular aware of the dehumanizing effect of ragging, and the approach of the institution towards those indulging in ragging, prominently display posters depicting the provisions of penal law applicable to incidents of ragging, and the provisions of these Regulations and also any other law for the time being in force, and the punishments thereof, shall be prominently displayed on Notice Boards of ail departments, hostels and other buildings as well as at places, where students normally gather and at places, known to be vulnerable to occurrences of ragging incidents.
i) The institution shall request the media to give adequate publicity to the law prohibiting ragging and the negative aspects of ragging and the institution’s resolve to ban ragging and punish those found guilty without fear or favour.
j) The institution shall identify, properly illuminate and keep a close watch on allocations known to be vulnerable to occurrences of ragging incidents.
k) The institution shall tighten security in its premises, especially at vulnerable places and intense policing by Anti-Ragging Squad, referred to in these Regulations and volunteers, if any, shall be resorted to at such points at odd hours during the first few months of the academic session.
l) The institution shall utilize the vacation period before the start of the new academic year to launch a publicity campaign against ragging through posters, leaflets and such other means, as may be desirable or required, to promote the objectives of this Memorandum.
m) The faculties/ departments/ units of the institution shall have induction arrangements, including those which anticipate, identify and plan to meet any special needs of any specific section of students, in place well in advance of the beginning of the academic year with an aim to promote the objectives of this Regulation.
n) Every institution shall engage or seek the assistance of professional counselors before the commencement of the academic session, to be available when required by the institution, for the purposes of offering counseling to freshers and to other students after the commencement of the academic year.
o) The head of the institution shall provide information to the local police and local authorities, the details of every privately commercially managed hostels or lodges used for residential purposes by students enrolled in the institution and the head of the institution shall also ensure that the Anti-Ragging Squad shall ensure vigil in such locations to prevent the occurrence of ragging therein.
II. An institution shall, on admission or enrolment or registration of students, take the following steps, namely;
a) Every fresh student admitted to the institution shall be given a printed leaflet detailing to whom he/she has to turn to for help and guidance for various purposes including addresses and telephone numbers, so as to enable the student to contact the concerned person at any time, Wardens, Head of the institution, all members of the anti-ragging squads and committees, relevant district and police authorities.
b) The institution, through the leaflet shall explain to the freshers, the arrangements made for their induction and orientation which promote efficient and effective means of integrating them fully as students with those already admitted to the institution in earlier years and shall inform the freshers about their rights as bona fide students of the institution and clearly instruct them that they should desist from doing anything, with or against their will, even if ordered to by the seniors students, and that any attempt of ragging shall be promptly reported to the Anti-ragging Squad or to the Warden or to the Head of the institution, as the case may be.
c) The leaflet shall contain a calendar of events and activities laid down by the institution to facilitate and complement familiarization of freshers with the academic environment of the institution.
d) The institution shall, on the arrival of senior students after the first week or after the second week, as the case may be, schedule orientation programmes as follows, namely;
(i) joint sensitization programme and counselling of both freshers and senior students by a professional counsellor;
(ii) joint orientation programme of freshers and seniors to be addressed by the Head of the institution and the anti-ragging committee;
(iii) organization on a large scale of cultural, sports and other activities to provide a platform for the freshers and seniors to interact in the presence of faculty members;
(iv) in the hostel, the warden should address all students; and may request two junior colleagues from the college faculty to assist the warden by becoming resident tutors for a temporary duration;
(v) as far as possible faculty members should dine with the hostel residents in their respective hostels to instill a feeling of confidence among the freshers.
e) The institution shall set up appropriate committees, including the course-in charge, student advisor. Wardens and some senior students as its members, to actively monitor, promote and regulate healthy interaction between the freshers, junior students and senior students.
f) Freshers or any other student(s), whether being victims, or witnesses, in any incident of ragging, shall be encouraged to report such occurrence, and the identity of such informants shall be protected and shall not be subject to any adverse consequence only for the reason for having reported such incidents.
g) Each batch of freshers, on arrival at the institution, shall be divided into small groups and each such group shall be assigned to a member of the faculty, who shall interact individually with each member of the group every day for ascertaining the problems or difficulties, if any, faced by the fresher in the institution and shall extend necessary help to the fresher in overcoming the same.
h) It shall be the responsibility of the member of the faculty assigned to the group of freshers, to coordinate with the Wardens of the hostels and to make surprise visits to the rooms in such hostels, where a member or members of the group are lodged; and such member of faculty shall maintain a diary of his/her interaction with the freshers under his/her charge.
i) Freshers shall be lodged, as far as may be, in a separate hostel block, and where such facilities are not available, the institution shall ensure that access of seniors to accommodation allotted to freshers is strictly monitored by wardens, security guards and other staff of the institution.
j) A round the clock vigil against ragging in the hostel premises, in order to prevent ragging in the hostels after the classes are over, shall be ensured by the institution.
k) It shall be the responsibility of the parents/ guardians of freshers to promptly bring any instance of ragging to the notice of the Head of the Institution.
l) Every student studying in the institution and his/her parents/ guardians shall provide the specific affidavits at the time of admission or registration, as the case may be, during each academic year.
m) Every institution shall obtain the affidavit from every student as referred to above and maintain a proper record of the same and to ensure its safe upkeep thereof, including maintaining the copies of the affidavit in an electronic form, to be accessed easily when required either by the University Grants Commission or any of the Councils or by the institution or by the affiliating University or by any other person or organization authorized to do so.
n) Every student at the time of his/her registration shall inform the institution about his/her place of residence while pursuing the course of study, and in case the student has not decided his/her place of residence or intends to change the same, the details of his place of residence shall be provided immediately on deciding the same and specifically in regard to a private commercially managed lodge or hostel where he/she has taken up residence.
o) The Head of the institution shall, at the end of each academic year, send a letter to the parents/guardians of the students who are completing their first year in the institution, informing them about these Regulations and any law for the time being in force prohibiting ragging and the punishments thereof as well as punishments prescribed under the penal laws, and appealing to them to impress upon their wards to desist from indulging in ragging on their return to the institution at the beginning of the academic session next.
Measures for Constituting bodies for prevention of Ragging as per relevant Regulations (6.3,6.4) of the University Grants Commission dated July 4, 2009
Every Institution shall constitute the following bodies; namely,
1. Every institution shall constitute a Committee to be known as the Anti-Ragging Committee to be nominated and headed by the Head of the institution, and consisting of representatives of civil and police administration, local media, Non Government Organizations involved in youth activities, representatives of faculty members, representatives of parents, representatives of students belonging to the freshers category as well as senior students, non-teaching staff; and shall have a diverse mix of membership in terms of levels as well as gender.
2. It shall be the duty of the Anti-Ragging Committee to ensure compliance with the provisions of these Regulations as well as the provisions of any law for the time being in force concerning ragging; and also to monitor and oversee the performance of the Anti-Ragging Squad in prevention of ragging in the institution.
3. Every institution shall also constitute a smaller body to be known as the Anti- Ragging Squad to be nominated by the Head of the Institution with such representation as may be considered necessary for maintaining vigil, oversight and patrolling functions and shall remain mobile, alert and active at all times. Provided that the Anti-Ragging Squad shall have representation of various members of the campus community and shall have no outside representation.
4. It shall be the duty of the Anti-Ragging Squad to be called upon to make surprise raids on hostels, and other places vulnerable to incidents of, and having the potential of, ragging and shall be empowered to inspect such places.
5. It shall also be the duty of the Anti-Ragging Squad to conduct an on-the-spot enquiry into any incident of ragging referred to it by the Head of the institution or any member of the faculty or any member of the staff or any student or any parent or guardian or any employee of a service provider or by any other person, as the case may be; and the enquiry report along with recommendations shall be submitted to the Anti-Ragging Committee for action. Provided that the Anti-Ragging Squad shall conduct such enquiry observing a fair and transparent procedure and the principles of natural justice and after giving adequate opportunity to the student or students accused of ragging and other witnesses to place before it the facts, documents and views concerning the incident of ragging, and considering such other relevant information as may be required.
6. Every institution shall, at the end of each academic year, in order to promote the objectives of these Regulations, constitute a Mentoring Cell consisting of students volunteering to be Mentors for freshers, in the succeeding academic year; and there shall be as many levels or tiers of Mentors as the number of batches in the institution, at the rate of one Mentor for six freshers and one Mentor of a higher level for six Mentors of the lower level.
7. Every University shall constitute a body to be known as Monitoring Cell on Ragging, which shall coordinate with the affiliated colleges and institutions under the domain of the University to achieve the objectives of UGC Regulations; and the Monitoring Cell shall call for reports from the Heads of institutions in regard to the activities of the AntiRagging Committees, Anti – Ragging Squads, and the Mentoring Cells at the institutions, and it shall also keep itself abreast of the decisions of the District level Anti-Ragging Committee headed by the District Magistrate.
8. The Monitoring Cell shall also review the efforts made by institutions to publicize antiragging measures, soliciting of affidavits from parents/ guardians and from students, each academic year, to abstain from ragging activities or willingness to be penalized for violations; and shall function as the prime mover for initiating action on the part of the appropriate authorities of the university for amending the Statutes or Ordinances or Byelaws to facilitate the implementation of anti-ragging measures at the level of the institution.
9. Every institution shall take the following other measures, namely;
a) Each hostel or a place where groups of students reside, forming part of the institution, shall have a full-time Warden, to be appointed by the institution as per the eligibility criteria laid down for the post reflecting both the command and control aspects of maintaining discipline and preventing incidents of ragging within the hostel, as well as the softer skills of counseling and communicating with the youth outside the class-room situation; and who shall reside within the hostel, or at the very least, in the close vicinity thereof.
b) The Warden shall be accessible at all hours and be available on telephone and other modes of communication, and for the purpose the Warden shall be provided with a mobile phone by the institution, the number of which shall be publicized among all students residing in the hostel.
c) The institution shall review and suitably enhance the powers of Wardens; and the security personnel posted in hostels shall be under the direct control of the Warden and their performance shall be assessed by them.
d) The professional counsellors shall, at the time of admission, counsel freshers and/or any other student(s) desiring counselling, in order to prepare them for the life ahead, particularly in regard to the life in hostels and to the extent possible, also involve parents and teachers in the counselling sessions.
e) The institution shall undertake measures for extensive publicity against ragging by means of audio-visual aids, counselling sessions, workshops, painting and design competitions among students and such other measures, as it may deem fit.
f) The faculty of the institution and its non-teaching staff, which includes, but is not limited to the administrative staff, contract employees, security guards and employees of service providers providing services within the institution, shall be sensitized towards the ills of ragging, its prevention and the consequences thereof.
g) The institution shall obtain an undertaking from every employee of the institution including all teaching and non-teaching members of staff, contract labour employed in the premises either for running canteen or as watch and ward staff or for cleaning or maintenance of the buildings/lawns and employees of service providers providing services within the institution, that he/she would report promptly any case of ragging which comes to his/her notice.
h) The institution shall make a provision in the service rules of its employees for issuing certificates of appreciation to such members of the staff who report incidents of ragging, which will form part of their service record.
i) The institution shall give necessary instructions to the employees of the canteens and messing, whether that of the institution or that of a service provider providing this service, or their employers, as the case may be, to keep a strict vigil in the area of their work and to report the incidents of ragging to the Head of the institution or members of the Anti-Ragging Squad or members of the Anti-Ragging Committee or the Wardens, as may be required.
j) All Universities awarding a degree in education at any level, shall be required to ensure that institutions imparting instruction in such courses or conducting training programme for teachers include inputs relating to anti-ragging and the appreciation of the relevant human rights, as well as inputs on topics regarding sensitization against corporal punishments and checking of bullying amongst students, so that every teacher is equipped to handle at least the rudiments of the counselling approach.
k) Discreet random surveys shall be conducted amongst the freshers every fortnight during the first three months of the academic year to verify and crosscheck whether the institution is indeed free of ragging or not and for the purpose the institution may design its own methodology of conducting such surveys.
l) The institution shall cause to have an entry, apart from those relating to general conduct and behaviour, made in the Migration/Transfer Certificate issued to the student while leaving the institution, as to whether the student has been punished for committing or abetting an act of ragging, as also whether the student has displayed persistent violent or aggressive behaviour or any inclination to harm others, during his course of study in the institution.
m) Notwithstanding anything contained in these Regulations with regard to obligations and responsibilities pertaining to the authorities or members o bodies prescribed above, it shall be the general collective responsibility of all levels and sections of authorities or functionaries including members of the faculty and employees of the institution, whether regular or temporary, and employees of service providers providing service within the institution, to prevent or to act promptly against the occurrence of ragging or any incident of ragging which comes to their notice.
n) The Heads of Institutions affiliated to a University or a constituent of the University, as the case may be, shall, during the first three months of an academic year, submit a weekly report on the status of compliance with Anti-Ragging measures under these Regulations, and a monthly report on such status thereafter, to the Vice-Chancellor of the University to which the institution is affiliated to or recognized by it.
o) The Vice Chancellor of each University shall submit fortnightly reports of the University, including those of the Monitoring Cell on Ragging in case of an affiliating university, to the State Level Committee, constituted by the State Government in this regard.
A. State Level Committee with following members:
(i) Vice Chairperson (Academic), West Bengal State Council of Higher Education – Chairperson
(ii) An officer not below the rank of Joint Secretary, Higher Education Department – Member
(iii) An officer not below the rank of Joint Secretary, nominated by Health and Family Welfare Department – Member
(iv) Member Secretary, West Bengal State Council of Higher Education – Secretary
B. District level Anti-Ragging Committee shall be constituted with the following members
(i) District Magistrate (Commissioner of Police , Kolkata in case of Kolkata Police Commissionerate) as Chairperson
(ii) Superintendent of Police/ Commissioner of Police in the Districts – Member;
(iii) Registrar of the University falling within the territorial limits of the District – Member;
(iv) Additional District Magistrate (General) of the District as Member Secretary.
(v) District Information and Culture Officer (DICO) of the District – Member;
(vi) Three Principals of Colleges to be nominated by the Director of Public Instruction/ Director of Technical Education as the case may be;
Provided that for Kolkata, the Members of the Committee shall be as follows
(i) Commissioner of Police, Kolkata – Chairperson
(ii) Representative of Commissioner, Kolkata Municipal Corporation, not below the rank of Joint Commissioner – Member;
(iii) Registrars of Universities within Kolkata;
(iv) Representative of the Director of Public Instruction/ Director of Technical Education not below the rank of Joint Director of Public Instruction/ Technical Education;
(v) Joint Commissioner of Police (HQ), Kolkata Police – Member Secretary.
(vi) Representative of Director of Information.
All the Committees mentioned herein above should have suitable representations from SC/ST/OBC/Minority Community.
No. 780-Edn dated 14.08.2023, Source