The UGC on Monday asserted that institutes should not yield to pressures from various quarters and reduce the punishment for ragging.
UGC chairman Ved Prakash made the statement when asked about the recent 50-hour gherao of the Jadavpur University vice-chancellor and other senior officials by students who demanded that the punishment meted out to two students held guilty of ragging be revoked.
“The head of institutes should ensure implementation of what has been stated in our 2009 regulations aimed at curbing ragging. I am not aware of incidents of any particular institute. But no institute should yield to pressure when it comes to implementing measures. Otherwise the purpose of curbing ragging would be defeated,” Prakash said on the sidelines of the convocation at Netaji Subhash Open University.
The UGC regulations to curb ragging were framed following a prod from the Supreme Court.
When told that students from Bengal are increasingly approaching the UGC with complaints of ragging, Prakash said: “I am not aware of the developments you are referring to. If complaints are brought to our notice we would take strong actions, but the number of complaints of ragging in our country has come down.”
A final-year engineering student of JU has been expelled for a year and another suspended for six months on the basis of a complaint last month on the UGC’s toll-free anti-ragging helpline that guarantees the caller anonymity.
Students held vice-chancellor Shouvik Bhattacharyya and two other officials hostage for over 50 hours between September 18 and 20, demanding that the punishment be revoked. They later resorted to a relay hunger strike and a “fast-unto-death” to press the demand.
“The message by the chairman vindicated our stand of not succumbing to illegitimate demands from students. We have already sent an action-taken report to the UGC,” said a teacher at JU.
“The UGC can stop grants or de-affiliate our institute if we backtrack and revoke the punishment,” said an official.