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TN: UGC cell ignores complaints on ragging, registers just 1%

akhilesh yadav

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akhilesh yadav

UGC cell ignores complaints on ragging, registers just 1%

Reported by Manish Raj in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 17 Feb 2013


CHENNAI: At a time when incidents of brutalragging are on the rise, here is disturbing information. A reply to an RTI query revealed that the anti-ragging helpline of the University Grants Commission registered less than 1% of the complaints it received. The toll-free helpline (1800-180-5522) received 1,65,297 calls in the last three months or 55,099 calls a month, 77 calls an hour and at least a call a minute. But, only 190 complaints were registered.


The authorities manning the helpline attribute the large number of calls to incidents not related to actual ragging. Nishat Israil, head of the anti-ragging cell, said, "Most of the calls we receive are hoaxes as it is a toll-free number." However, students in genuine distress were never denied help, she added.


Questioning this assertion, Meera Kaura Patel, a Supreme Court lawyer and legal adviser of SAVE, the NGO which filed the RTI applicationwith the UGC, said it was impossible that more than one lakh phone calls could be false. After approaching the helpline, students don't formally register complaints because of fear and threats from colleges, the police and perpetrators of the crime. "The UGC doesn't have a system to provide security to students, who raise their voice against ragging. Most ragging cases go unreported," she said.


The UGC doesn't have comprehensive data on the reported deaths and suicides due to ragging. Even the categories of abuse, such as sexual and physical violence are absent in its records, said Patel.

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