FPJ Exclusive: 45% Rise In Ragging Cases In 2023–24, UGC Pledges Safe Learning Environment

FPJ Exclusive: 45% Rise In Ragging Cases In 2023–24, UGC Pledges Safe Learning Environment

According to the UGC’s latest data provided by the UGC, 1,240 alleged ragging cases were reported between January 1, 2023, and April 28, 2024, on the helpline. A 45% increase was noticed in the number of ragging cases registered in this period upon comparing the data with that of the previous academic year (2022–23).

Krisha V BhattUpdated: Thursday, May 09, 2024, 10:09 PM IST
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There has been a considerable rise in the number of alleged ragging cases reported at the University Grant Commission’s (UGC) helpline 1800-180-5522 in 2023-24 compared to 2022-23, exclusive data shared by the Commission with The Free Press Journal (FPJ) shows. 

According to the UGC’s latest data provided by the UGC, 1,240 alleged ragging cases were reported between January 1, 2023, and April 28, 2024, on the helpline. 

A 45% increase was noticed in the number of ragging cases registered in this period upon comparing the data with that of the previous academic year (2022–23). In the previous academic year, a total of 858 complaints were received by the anti-ragging helpline. 

Similarly, a 47% hike was noted between the academic years 2021–22 and 2022–23, with 582 complaints registered in the former.

The closed cases

The UGC has also closed a high number of cases over these years. From January 2023 to Apr 28, 2024, the UGC closed 90% (1,113) of the registered cases. In the academic years 2022–23 and 2021–22, 93% (797) and 69% (401) of cases were closed, respectively.

When asked about the rise in the number of ragging cases reported, UGC Chairman M Jagadesh Kumar told the FPJ, "The University Grants Commission is firmly committed to promoting a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students in universities and colleges across India."

Citing that one of the reasons for the increase in the number of registered cases can be the confidentiality maintained by the UGC, Kumar added, "The accessible and confidential helpline empowers students to report ragging incidents without fear of retribution."

Kumar highlighted that the UGC actively collaborates with an independent NGO to monitor anti-ragging complaints and ensure universities uphold their obligations to prevent ragging.

Further assuring students, Kumar said, "The UGC is confident that these measures, along with the continued efforts of universities and colleges, will significantly reduce ragging incidents. We aim to create a more welcoming and positive learning environment for all students in higher education."

UGC warns educational institutions

The UGC recently directed all higher educational institutes (HEIs) across India to set up anti-ragging committees in their colleges and universities if they haven’t done that yet.

In a letter sent to the chief secretaries of all States, the UGC has urged the establishment of these committees on a district level.

"These regulations are mandatory, and all institutions are required to take necessary steps for its implementation including the monitoring mechanisms," the letter read.

The UGC has also directed the district-level committees to hold preparational meetings during the summer vacation. These meetings will assess each institution’s preparedness and policy compliance.

The UGC has also warned the institutions that any violation of the anti-ragging regulations will be taken seriously.

"If any institution fails to take adequate steps to prevent ragging or does not act in accordance with these Regulations, or fails to punish perpetrators of incidents of ragging suitably, it will attract punitive actions as per UGC Regulations for Curbing the Menace of Ragging - 2009," the letter addressed to the chief secretaries warned.

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