The four-member committee, in a letter to UGC stated, "The causes are complex and thus any solution must also rest on a broad range of interventions; in short a law-and-order perspective of the problem is both short-sighted and self-defeating."
During the course of the study, the committee conducted surveys in 37 colleges and universities in India. These included engineering, mediacl, veterinary, law, nursing, MCA, polytechnic, hotel management, ayurveda college and degree colleges. The committee found that approximately 40% students surveyed had faced some form of ragging and bullying. The prevalence of ragging was highest in medical and engineering institutes.
The report states, "The findings clearly indicate that ragging occurs in the context of power relationships, in a deeply hierarchical and unequal society and is reflective of these social processes."
Touching upon the ethnical and cultural diversity of the country and how these paly out in power equations which eventually result in ragging, the report says, "lt also occurs as a result of a lack of appreciation of the diverslties we need to celebrate in a country like ours- of ethnicity, language, religion etc."
As part of the study, the committee also undertook a supplementary study of six urban Indian schools and found that bullying in schools indicates a continuum which commences from families to schools and eventually to higher education institutes. The study found that there was a clear bias among school children against 'girl child, the disabled, religious minorities, 'lower castes' and children from other states and speaking other languages'.
What is most alarming, as per the report, is that people do not perceive ragging and bullying as a problem and hence do not feel the need to address it.
Some of the important recommendations made by include offering psychosocial support and counselling to victims as well as perpetrators so that the potential for cyclical abuse is neutralized. The committee also recommends that higher education institutes should regularly survey students and staff to assess and monitor the social climate of the institute.
The institutes are also encouraged to create an environment where students learn the values of democratic, mutually respectful relationships, non-violent conflict resolution, autonomous and critical thinking, compassion and caring, respect for differences, fairness and so on.
The recommendations and the complete report is available on the UGC website for reference of all concerned stakeholders.
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