The West Bengal University of Technology (WBUT) has asked private engineering colleges to explain to every student in second year and above the consequences of being caught for ragging juniors.
Punishment for ragging includes expulsion from college and hostel, suspension from class and hostel and even arrest, each of which can jeopardise the offending students’ academic and professional career.
“Many students who indulge in ragging don’t seem to understand that the punishment, especially arrest, can have a long-term effect on their career. So we want the institutes to spell out the consequences of ragging to every student in detail through counselling, interactive sessions and other forms of campaign,” said WBUT vice-chancellor Ranjan Bhattacharya.
If arrested a student may be charged under several sections of the IPC. “A police case can be disastrous for a student’s career… companies will be unwilling to recruit him even if he scores high marks,” said a placement officer of an institution in east Calcutta.
Four students of the Government College of Engineering and Textile Technology in Serampore, a WBUT affiliate, were recently arrested after the institution lodged an FIR against them for ragging a junior.
Since students develop the tendency to rag juniors from second year, the 90-odd private engineering colleges in the state, all affiliated to WBUT, will have to start cautioning students when they get promoted to second year.
“The process of counselling should continue throughout the year,” said a university official.
The university has found out that anti-ragging committees — each institution must have one — becomes operative only during the admission season, though the rule states that such panels should be active throughout the year.
The committee’s duty is to keep an eye on first-year students, make surprise visits to hostels in the evening and even at night, and interact with students.
The WBUT has decided to set up its own panel comprising experts in handling cases of ragging from Jadavpur University and Bengal Engineering and Science University. The committee members will visit the private engineering institutions on a regular basis and review the activities of the anti-ragging committees.
The WBUT has received nearly a dozen complaints from its affiliates till date this year.
The figure, a source said, is “alarming” as ragging in any form has been banned by the state and the Centre following a Supreme Court ruling.