New Delhi: Heads of educational institutions in Haryana can now face up to six months in prison if they fail to prevent ragging on their campuses.

Raggers whose guilt is proved in an inquiry could be rusticated for three or even more years from school, college or university and would face a sure two-semester ban that could go up to a full academic year and even cancellation of admission.

Bringing in an anti-ragging ordinance for the first time, the Haryana Government has made heads of institutions – principals of schools and colleges and V-Cs of universities directly responsible for keeping campus atmosphere healthy. 

The ordinance prescribes hefty fines against institutions that contravene its provisions – Rs two lakh in case of schools and colleges and Rs five lakh in case of universities.

"The V-C, principal of school or colleges will be overall responsible to stop ragging and will take necessary preventive measures to prohibit ragging in educational institutions and ensure that no person practices ragging in any form within or outside the premises of the institution," states the Haryana Prohibition of Ragging in Educational Institutions Ordinance 2012.

It adds, "In case of any contravention, the Head shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to
six months and fine which may extend to Rs 25000. The Government may impose a fine on an educational institution for not complying. This may extend to Rs two lakh in case of a college/school and Rs five lakh in case of a university."

The high point of the ordinance is that it prohibits ragging not just in the classroom but in any situation which allows an interface between freshers and seniors.

"The law will be enforced in all schools, colleges, universities or their constituent units and will also include canteens, hostels or transport provided by the institutions whether within or outside the premises," states the Ordinance approved by Haryana Cabinet this week.

It requires institution heads to take written undertakings from students stating that they will not indulge in ragging. "In case a student is less than 18 years, his parent or guardian must give the undertaking," it states.

The law would work through a five-member anti ragging committee which heads of institutions will be required to constitute. There can be more such committees depending on the vastness of the college.

"Each committee will comprise three senior faculty members and two representatives of parents including a woman," the ordinance states.

It would be the responsibility of committee members to take action on any written complaint of ragging received from any source and submit an inquiry report to the Head of the institution within 72 hours of the incident.

If the offence is made out under the provisions of Indian Penal Code, 1860, the committee member will directly intimate the principal or V-C and get an FIR registered.

The law comes in the wake of recent anti-ragging campaigns across India following which the Supreme Court directed states to evolve regulations to check the menace.
The issue led to a national outrage after Aman Kachru, a student at a government medical college in Tanda, Himachal Pradesh, died after he was ragged by his seniors in 2009.

After the incident, Himachal Pradesh adopted antiragging regulations and the UGC also issued regulations to check the practice in the institutions it regulates.


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