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Assam colleges to face funds cut on ragging
Published on 2 Oct. 2009 12:14 AM IST
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For every ragging case reported, colleges in Assam will soon have to pay with a cut in grants or may even stand to lose their affiliation if the nature of the torture is grievous. Dispur has decided to trim grants to colleges where such cases have been reported. According to a report legraph, an Assam government official in the education department said the decision was taken following the recent incidents of ragging in various colleges, including Dibrugarh University. Several colleges are not adhering to the University Grants Commission’s guidelines on ragging and need stringent action, he said. Despite the Supreme Court’s ban on ragging and UGC guidelines, several colleges were not even taking steps to curb the menace. “We have been hearing about ragging incidents from the start of every new academic session. It is time we brought colleges and universities under some sort of binding. Teachers and students of the colleges where ragging is reported will have to take collective responsibility and face the music. The state government will stop its grants for various development activities to the erring colleges. The education department has already sought suggestions from the UGC on the issue of cutting grants. A formal notification will be made to universities and colleges in this regard,” the official said. The official said apart from blocking grants, the government would also impose fines on colleges where ragging was reported. He said the education department would write to Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University to permanently cancel affiliation to colleges where ragging incidents of grievous nature take place. According to the official, the government would conduct departmental inquiries against heads of educational institutions who neglect ragging complaints or fail to act against the accused. It will be made mandatory for institution heads to file FIRs against the ragging accused. The principal of Cotton College, Indra Kumar Bhattacharyya, welcomed the state government’s decision and said his institution has already taken several effective steps to stop ragging. “There has been no incident of ragging in my college this year. But before penalising an institution, an independent inquiry must be conducted to find out the truth. Some freshers complain of ragging even if seniors just want an introduction. Prevention of ragging is a collective responsibility of teachers and students,” Bhattacharyya said. The UGC last year made it mandatory for colleges across the country to initiate effective measures, including taking help from police, to prevent ragging on campuses. A source said written instructions were sent to all colleges in Assam by the UGC to put up billboards and banners on the campus, exhorting students not indulge in ragging. The colleges were also asked to set up anti-ragging squads. “Only a few institutions in Assam followed the UGC instructions. The recent incident of ragging in Dibrugarh University is the result of non-adherence to anti-ragging guidelines. The state government has asked the colleges and universities to follow the UGC guidelines and form anti-ragging squads immediately,” a source in the education department said.

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