The new academic session at Delhi University (DU) has begun with no reported case of ragging. The university has taken all steps to ensure an environment free of ragging so that freshers can enjoy their first days at college. Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) has set up an antiragging squad consisting of 204 students, which includes college presidents and counsellors. This squad will be taking rounds in all DU colleges making sure that no fresher is being ragged.
Jitender Choudhary, president of DUSU, says, “If any senior is caught ragging freshers, the anti-ragging squad is permitted to take immediate action on that senior either by handing him/her over to the college principal or directly to the vice-chancellor. Also, if a college fails or denies action against the student, we will take Delhi Police’s help to punish that student. We are serious about our plans and will make sure that there is no ragging taking place anywhere in DU.”
DUSU has circulated letters to all student union presidents of different colleges informing them about the antiragging plans.
While DUSU has tough plans to bring an end to ragging, many colleges on the other hand are opting for softer but equally effective methods. For instance, Lady Shri Ram College (LSR) has initiated a new system called the ‘buddy system’ to ensure there is no ragging. In this system, every senior will be allotted the responsibility to mentor one newcomer. The idea here is to encourage healthy interaction among seniors and juniors.
Colleges such as Dyal Singh and Deshbandu, too, have come up with different ideas. They have plans to welcome newcomers by applying vermilion on their foreheads and by offering them flowers and chocolates.
Parikshit Dagar, state convener (for student’s development) of all DU colleges, says, “By offering chocolates and flowers to freshers, a healthy relation between seniors and juniors will develop, which will give them a chance for more interaction helping them to know each other better. According to me this is a much better way to deal with a serious issue such as ragging.”
Apart from these plans, colleges have installed CCTV surveillance to keep vigil on happenings around the campus. However, Gurpreet Singh Tuteja, deputy dean, students’ welfare, DU, feels that the university cannot rely on arrangements made by DUSU as far as the issue of ragging is concerned. He says, “As per UGC rules, ragging is a criminal offence and any student who is caught indulging in it is punishable. The punishment can be suspension, rustication and even cancellation of the degree.” He continues, “DU has already issued a circular to all colleges, asking them to follow a certain protocol with regards to freshers. We have set up our own mobile squads, which will watch students on campus, libraries and in hostels (both girls and boys). Antiragging helpline numbers have also been set-up. He said DU took an undertaking from senior students during the time of admission that they would not be involved in ragging, hence, making it tougher for seniors to rag juniors. Freshers and their parents have signed a similar affidavit. Since everything has become legal, students are cautious about ragging.