From July 26, students at universities and professional institutions can lodge online complaints against ragging or harassment by anyone on the campus. This is being done to ensure that the complaints are followed up with the institutes’ administration and police within 15 minutes of receiving a complaint.
The HRD ministry is likely to unveil the portal on July 26, and the facility is being developed with the help of Rajendra Kachroo, father of Aman, who lost his life to ragging at a medical college in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, in 2009.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) took up the initiative at the behest of a Supreme Court order. While hearing ragging-related cases, the Supreme Court had ordered the government on May 8, 2009, to take several measures to combat the menace, including setting up of a central crisis hotline and anti-ragging database containing the details of each student.
“The portal will help students lodge their complaints, and it will be our responsibility to reach the administration quickly. All our communication, talks and discussions would be posted on the web so that the victim has complete access to what has happened since s/he lodged the compliant. The entire file on such cases will be uploaded,” Rajendra Kachroo.
The portal also promises to end the practice of students being made to file an affidavit on non-judicial stamp paper pledging against ragging. “They can download the affidavit from the website, and fill relevant details for submission. Affidavit filing will not only be hassle free, but also help create a database of all students,” he added.
The UGC had appointed the Aman Satya Kachroo Trust, of which Rajendra is the founding trustee, as the monitoring agency of the anti-ragging call centre. Now, the call centre receives about 35-40 distressed calls from students across the country. Kachroo said that most of the complaints are against harassment. “The launching of government website will have a greater impact on students, and we expect increased awareness among students. It will encourage them to report in case they are targeted or harassed by anyone on the campus,” he added.