Ragging at Jadavpur University: Basics Explained

READ: Ragging at Jadavpur University: What the law says about the issue (indianexpress.com)

Last week in the Jadavpur University campus in Kolkata An 18-year-old undergraduate died and the family alleged that he was being ragged on campus.

The Supreme Court, while ruling, a public interest litigation, in 2001,  had dealt with ragging, which it termed the “menace pervading the educational institutions of the country.” The court defined Ragging

“Any disorderly conduct, whether by words spoken or written or by an act which has the effect of teasing, treating or handling with rudeness any other student, indulging in rowdy or indisciplined activities which causes or is likely to cause annoyance, hardship or psychological harm or to raise fear or apprehension thereof in a fresher or a junior student or asking the students to do any act or perform something which such student will not do in the ordinary course and which has the effect of causing or generating a sense of shame or embarrassment so as to adversely affect the physique or psyche of a fresher or a junior student. The cause of indulging in ragging is deriving sadistic pleasure or showing off power, authority or superiority by the seniors over their juniors or freshers.”

The Court also issued key guidelines on anti-ragging. These included setting up proctoral committees to prevent ragging and internally address complaints against ragging.

a committee headed by former CBI Director RK Raghavan was set up by Supreme Court while dealing with another case of Ragging and the recommendations of the committee were subsequently formalised by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

In 2009, the UGC issued detailed guidelines for universities on anti-ragging. “The Regulations on Curbing the Menace of Ragging in Higher Educational Institutions,” include as ragging:

  • teasing, treating or handling a fellow student with rudeness;
  • causing physical or psychological harm;
  • causing or generating a sense of shame;
  • academic activity of any other student or a fresher;
  • exploiting a fresher or any other student for completing academic tasks assigned to an individual or a group of students;
  • financial extortion or forceful expenditure;
  • homosexual assaults, stripping, forcing obscene and
  • lewd acts, gestures, causing bodily harm.

Also, the education institution has to publish the names and contact numbers of Anti-ragging committee of the university.

If found guilty by the anti-ragging committee, the UGC guidelines require any member of the committee to “proceed to file a First Information Report (FIR), within twenty four hours of receipt of such information or recommendation, with the police and local authorities, under the appropriate penal provisions.

While ragging is not a specific offence, it could be penalised under several other provisions of the Indian Penal Code.

294 – Obscene acts and songs

323 – punishment for voluntarily causing hurt

324 – voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon or means

325 – punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt

326 – voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapon

339 – Wrongful Restraint

340 – Wrongful Confinement

341 – Punishment for Wrongful Restraint

342 – Punishment for Wrongful Confinement

506 – Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder

– The National Anti-Ragging Helpline is a 24×7 toll free helpline for students in distress. The students can call at 1800-180-5522

– The students can also email the Anti-Ragging Helpline at helpline@antiragging.in

– In cases of emergencies, students can contact Centre for Youth (the UGC monitoring agency) on its mobile number +91 98180 44577

– The students can also visit the UGC website – ugc.ac.in and antiragging.in for more information regarding ragging.


The guidelines against Ragging are not actually implemented in letter and spirit and are observed more in their breach.

Colleges must be downgraded and acted against if they are caught shielding the culprits.

There is a need to sanitize our institutions of higher education and eliminate bad elements, regardless of their status or background.

There is a need for a national anti-ragging law that will standardize the definition and the amount of punishment for such actions across the country, and make institutions accountable for such incidents.


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