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Ragging charges on transfer certificates - MCI

The all important migration and transfer certificates, issued to students of medical colleges/institutes/universities will now have an entry, apart from those relating to general conduct and behaviour, saying whether the student has been punished for committing or abetting ragging or not.

The certificate will also mention whether the student has displayed persistent violent or aggressive behaviour or any inclination to harm others.

Dealing with ragging with an iron fist, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has written to medical institutes across India reminding them that ragging is a criminal offence. It has also forwarded regulations framed by the MCI on ways to curb ragging to all institutes.

This, they said, will help medical colleges "prohibit, prevent and eliminate the scourge of ragging".

According to the 'Prevention and Prohibition of Ragging in Medical Colleges/Institutions Regulations', freshers who do not report incidents of ragging either as victims or as witnesses shall also be punished.

MCI has also introduced the concept of collective punishment. It says when those committing or abetting the crime of ragging are not identified, the institution will have to resort to collective punishment.

Making the head of institutions liable, the MCI has decided to impose a fine of Rs 1 lakh for each incident of ragging payable by the erring medical college to an authority designated by the government.

It will also declare the erring medical college as not having the minimum academic standards through a public notice posted on the MCI website.

Medical colleges will now have to conduct anonymous random surveys of freshers every fortnight, during the first three months of the academic year, to verify whether the campus is indeed free of ragging or not.

MCI says that because college canteens and hostel messes are places where ragging often takes place, the employers/employees of the canteens/mess shall be given instructions to keep strict vigil and to report incidents.

Access to mobile phones shall be unrestricted in hostels and campuses, except in class-rooms, seminar halls and library. MCI has sent these new regulations on ragging to all medical colleges across India for immediate implementation.

The provision says, "The burden of proof shall lie on the perpetrator of ragging and not on the victim. The institution shall file an FIR with the police whenever a case of ragging is reported, but continue with its own enquiry and other measures without waiting for action on the part of the police. Depending upon the nature and gravity of the offence as established by the anti-ragging committee of the institution, the possible punishments for those found guilty of ragging at the institution level shall be any one or any combination of the following: suspension from attending classes, withholding/withdrawing scholarship/fellowship, debarring from appearing in any examinations, suspension/expulsion from the hostel and a fine of Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh."

The MCI added, "Freshers' welcome parties shall be organized in each department by the senior students and the faculty together soon after admissions, preferably within the first two weeks of the beginning of the academic session, for proper introduction to one another and where the talents of the freshers are brought out properly in the presence of the faculty, thus helping them to shed their inferiority complex, if any, and remove their inhibitions."

Admission advertisement will have to clearly mention that ragging is totally banned/prohibited in the medical college and anyone found guilty of ragging is liable to be punished. The brochure of admission/instruction booklet for candidates will have to print in block letters these regulations in full. The 'prospectus' and other admission related documents shall also have to incorporate all directions of the Supreme Court so that the candidates and their parents are sensitized in respect of the prohibition and consequences of ragging.

"The application form for admission shall have a printed undertaking, in English/Hindi and in one of the regional languages that will have to be filled up and signed by the candidate to admit that the student is aware of the law regarding prohibition of ragging as well as the punishments. They will also have to declare that he/she has not been expelled or debarred from admission by any institution due to ragging," the MCI said.

Medical colleges will now have to arrange for regular and periodic psychological counseling and orientation for students (for freshers separately, as well as jointly with seniors) by professional counselors during the first three months of the new academic year. This has to be done at the institution with parents and teachers being involved. source-articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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