Provide Environment For Critical Thinking, Respect For Differences: Psychological Study On Ragging

The higher education institutions must provide an environment where the students learn the values of democratic, autonomous and critical thinking and respect for differences recommended a four member committee constituted by Supreme Court of India to tackle issues related to ragging.

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Provide Environment For Critical Thinking, Respect For Differences: Psychological Study On Ragging

'Provide Environment For Democratic Relationships', Study On Ragging Says

New Delhi:  The higher education institutions must provide an environment where the 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, recommended a four member committee constituted by Supreme Court of India to tackle issues related to ragging. The committee consisted of mental health and public health professionals and they looked into reasons and circumstances under which senior students resort to ragging and the psychological impact of ragging on students.

The committee was also asked to assess and quantify the impact of ragging and indiscipline on the standard of education in an institution and relate it to the existing procedures used by MCl, UGC and other regulatory bodies to assess the suitability of an institution for recognition and to recommend urgent and mandatory mental health measures to be implemented in, and practiced by school, colleges, and all educational and vocational institutions, so as to curb ragging.

The four members committee has since submitted its report entitled "Psycholocial Study of Ragging in Selected Educational Institutions in India" to the University Grants Commission (UGC). The report has now been uploaded on the UGC website and may be accessed through this link.

Orientation, Surveillance, Counselling

The committee has asked the higher education institutions to organise welcome and orientation programmes at the beginning of every academic session involving the students through which a clear message shall be sent regarding acceptable and unacceptable behaviours.

"This must include zero tolerance to ragging, sexual harassment and discrimination based on caste, religion, ethnicity etc.," said a notice published by UGC.

Apart from installation of CCTV cameras, the committee also recommended a proper surveillance mechanism consisting of a human system of wardens, mentors etc. should be institutionalized, wherein they should be in regular touch with the students and promote their inclusion in activities such as games, 'sports and extra-curricular activities etc. in the hostels.

It also suggested a clear Standard Operating Procedure to be laid down for dealing with the cases of ragging.

"Psychological Support and counselling should be offered to victims as well as perpetrators so that the potential for cyclical abuse is neutralized," the committee recommended.

According to the committee, the engagement of counsellor's with the students could also be in the form of sensitization/training modules on power and inequalities, prejudice, discrimination, exclusion, harassment and violence, using creative methods such as drama, art, films, and other media.

'Appreciate the huge diversities'

"The institutions must appreciate the huge diversities in the institution in terms of ethnicity, language, religion, sexuality etc. and effectively address the diversity related concerns by assessing and monitoring the social climate of institutions through regular surveys of students and staff," it said.

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