Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Find Ways to curb ragging

link to the report

Courtesy The Times of India

NEW DELHI: After stripping college elections of money
and muscle power, Supreme Court on Monday turned its
attention to the menace of ragging of freshers
prevalent in almost all educational institutions and
entrusted the task of finding remedial measures to a
committee headed by former CBI director R K Raghavan.

That the Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and
L S Panta chose a tough former police officer to deal
with a menace bordering on criminality, was not
surprising as it had recently ordered implementation
of radical suggestions of former chief election
commissioner J M Lyngdoh, who was saddled with the
task of streamlining the much maligned college
elections, where money, muscle and political influence
ruled the roost.

During the hearing on the implementation of the
Lyngdoh Committee recommendations, the Bench propped
up the issue of ragging prevalent in educational
institutions and termed it as a menace, which is
claiming the lives of students every now and then.

It recalled that in 2001, the apex court had laid down
stringent guidelines to curb the menace, but these had
remained unimplemented in most states. The court had
said that if an institution failed to curb ragging,
University Grants Commission and other authorities
could consider de-affiliating it, as well as stop its
financial grants.

Expressing concern over the increase in the incidence
of ragging, as mentioned in the PIL filed by an NGO,
Vishwa Jagriti Mission, it had said that ragging
cannot be curbed by merely making is a cognisable
criminal offence.

Irked by the non-implementation of the 2001 judgment,
Justice Pasayat said a committee on lines of the one
headed by Lyngdoh be appointed. This was welcomed by
Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam.

The ASG was given three weeks time by the court to
take necessary instructions from the government for
deciding the composition of the Raghavan committee.

On the issue of implementation of the Lyngdoh
committee, the Bench accepted the suggestion of senior
advocate Arun Jaitley whose experience as a student
leader is well known certain strong recommendations on
student polls needed a fresh look, especially on
relaxation of age limit and the expenditure limit.

Meanwhile, human resource development minister Arjun
Singh welcomed the Supreme Court's direction to curb
ragging and said his ministry was ready to render all
necessary help in this regard.

"The observation of the court is welcome and we would
render all help for it," Singh told reporters here.
"These incidents (of ragging) influence all and have
drawn attention of everyone including the court," he
added. Meanwhile, Singh signed an agreement with Saudi
Arabia to enhance cooperation in the field of science
and education.