The University of Delhi (DU) is all set for the commencement of the new academic session that officially starts from the 20th July. The varsity has issued guidelines to curb ragging in the campus.

All admission formalities have been completed and the orientation sessions of various colleges and departments are going on in full swing. Keeping in mind the past experiences and instances of ragging, misbehaviour, unruly activities, and harassment; activities that have landed prestigious colleges of the University in untoward situations, the Executive Council (EC) of the varsity held a meeting on 20th June to discuss possible solutions.

The prime suggestion brought up at the meeting was of collaboration with the Delhi Police to have and extra-vigilant surveillance system in all colleges. This was followed by several rounds of written conversations between the Council and the Commissioner of Delhi Police. The Delhi Police, welcomingly, has set up two joint control rooms, one each in North and South Campus respectively, for the introductory week of this session, i.e. from 20th to 27th July. This decision aims to ensure that anti-ragging and anti-harassment measures are strictly implemented by the police personnel on duty, as well as the college authorities. This is a landmark change that the security system has undergone with the commencement of this academic session.

The following are the key policy changes that have been taken by the EC to tighten the security management in the DU colleges.

Police Pickets in Every College
The University has decided to set up police pickets in every college individually to add extra vigilance and surveillance in pursuit of ‘Zero Tolerance to Ragging’. Anybody found indulging in an act of ragging or harassment will be dealt with as a criminal by the police personnel on duty, and will have to face legal consequences that may include suspension and might extend to rustication from the college, or blacklisting in the University for three years.

Provision of Lodging Complaints on Fast-track
Apart from the Joint Control Rooms and police pickets, the students can also lodge written complaints against ragging or any kind of harassment in any of the complaint boxes in the colleges. The EC has made it mandatory for all Head of Institutions to mandatorily check these complaint boxes at the end of each working day and take fast-track action, if needed.

Moreover, special anti-ragging helplines have been provided with extra executive staff to attend to the SOS calls more efficiently and quickly.

The Helpline Number for North campus is 011-27667221 and for South Campus is 011-24119832.

Mandatory Undertakings from Every Student and Guardian/Parent
DU decreed that it will be mandatory for all students seeking admission to any DU college, as well as their guardians, to sign a mandatory anti-ragging affidavit. This undertaking clearly states the possible consequences that any kind of involvement in, or supporting of, any sort of ragging can attract.

Increased Mechanised Surveillance
The sensitive areas in and around all colleges (washrooms, hangout spots, canteens and cafes, and lawns) have been put under higher surveillance, and the number of surveillance devices have been increased.

These security measures will be implemented from the new academic session that starts from the 20th July and will aim at the smooth and steady transition of freshers to the colleges.

We wish all freshers good luck for the start of their college experiences, and we hope it makes for a good one!

Feature Image Credits

Yaksh Handa

[email protected]

Leaders For Tomorrow, who have a partnership with the Delhi Police, held an “Anti Drugs Anti Ragging” campaign on 29th July in Sri Venkateswara College where the members informed the students about the ill-effects of drug abuse and shared their views about the negative aspects of ragging as well. The campaign focused on all students so that the seniors as well as juniors could be made aware about the purpose of this campaign. Students who wish to become members as well as those who have queries about the campaign can contact [email protected].



By Sonam Satija ([email protected])

As the new batch of students started attending college from today, the 23rd of July, Delhi University has gone all out to enforce stringent anti-ragging measures, hoping to continue with the success of last year’s efforts when no ragging incidents were reported.

The DU website already declares its ‘Zero Tolerance to Ragging’ with posters informing students that ragging is strictly prohibited in all college, department and hostel premises. It also includes instructions on the Ragging Complaint Mechanism and the Anti-Ragging Helpline Number. Such posters have also been put up in metro stations. As per the University guidelines all colleges have set up individual Anti Ragging Cells and Squads to control and prevent such activities within the institutions.

The Delhi Police is also doinge their bit. Constables have been appointed outside colleges and specific metro stations to ensure ragging doesn’t take place even outside the campuses. Special attention has also been paid to colleges for girls, near which women cops will be stationed.

These measures are in addition to existing rules such as not allowing guests to stay at the hostels for the initial weeks, permitting students to enter their college only with Identity Cards and displaying anti ragging banners within the campus.

The University Grants Commission’s Regulations on curbing the menace of ragging include a long list of acts that constitute ragging. It includes any form of bullying, trauma, violence, abuse or embarrassment that may affect a student physically, sexually, mentally, emotionally or financially. The penalties for such activities have also clearly been mentioned. They include suspension, expulsion and cancellation of degree. In the year 2009 two students from Kirorimal College were expelled for ragging a junior, and a Mathematics student of Ramjas College was expelled last year.

Hoping to encourage healthy relations between seniors and juniors, many colleges are also organising induction programs during the initial days of the session.  It is an opportunity for freshers to talk to their seniors about the college, course and faculty.  A lot of freshers feel that such interactions are crucial in college life and most don’t consider ragging a problem unless taken too far.  “Unless it’s extreme, ragging is just light hearted fun. If the seniors stay within the limit, I don’t think it’s too serious an issue “, said a fuccha for English Honours at Kamala Nehru College.

As is evident, Delhi University is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that students remain safe and protected and so that they can start their first few days on a happy note.


Are a great idea

Ragging- the term initially meaning an interaction between freshers and seniors has now come to be a much dreaded word for every student, and not without reason. Some individuals, owing to their seniority, remorselessly misuse their authority for shallow pleasure, often leading the victim to suffer physically and/ or mentally. Furthermore, the lenient laws against ragging initially made it very easy for the accused to slip out of the crime with a petty penalty or none at all, thus leading to a more insecure environment for the times to come for the fresher. This reason alone held back a majority of the victims from lodging harassment cases, thus going on to show how ineffective the laws against such an abhorrent crime were and resultantly the vulnerable position which the students were forced to occupy. The population most affected by ragging was that of the outstation students, who due to the absence of guardians and familial help had become easy prey to such incidents. These factors and more made it easy for such exploitation to remain rampant.

The predicaments of ragging didn’t just end there. Such adverse incidents carried out by a senseless few eventually led to the status of seniors being questioned by the juniors and the authorities alike, thus leading to lack of communication and resultantly a lack of cooperation between the three. This has since gone on to severe the relationship between the respective parties, and none seem satisfied. Amitav Roy, a third year student of Sri Venkateswara College says, “We never had a proper interaction with our juniors last year due to the misdoings by a few people highlighted by the media which caused all seniors to be stereotyped as reprobates. Hopefully this time this myth will be broken leading to a mutual, more mature interaction between the two groups. Though the affidavits are a highly unnecessary step, if it makes the freshers feel any more secure then so be it.”

The colleges have been provided a nine page notice defining ragging and stating the newly established rules against it along with the do’s and don’ts for the freshers. According to the Union Human Resource Minister Kapil Sibal, the stringent measures against ragging this while include rustication of the student, withholding of scholarship, derecognising the institution, debarring student from appearing in any test and stopping of grant to the institution.

While the authorities seem happy with their decision, the freshers too seem to share the same sentiments. States Anant Ghughe, a freshman from Hindu College, “The ‘If we suffered, they’ll suffer too’ psyche needs to come to an end. Compromising on one’s dignity for the sake of acceptance is unjustified.” Thus strict as the new anti ragging rules are, they will finally put an end to the psychology of ragging being passed down as a right by virtue of hierarchy.

Are a disaster

The only time our country reacts to a problem we may be facing is when the problem suddenly becomes large and threatening, at which point the authorities inevitably get carried away with the solutions. This was seen during the reservations issue, when instead of offering the underprivileged equal grounds for competition they simply gave them huge advantages without the groundwork needed to support these advantages. Similarly in the case of ragging, when the Supreme Court did take action was when suicide and murder finally brought this long existing problem into the media glare, at which point in order to save face they simply announced a blanket ban on ragging without attempting to understand the situation.

The problem you see is not with the fact that ragging has been criminalized, which is perfectly justified, but that the laws doing so are so terribly sloppy, poorly thought out and ridiculous. By the extraordinarily wide definition of ragging provided in the law, anything, virtually ANYTHING can be construed as ragging. If someone is blocking the passage and you ask them to make way for you to pass, you can be booked under ragging. If you ask a fresher their name you may be seen to be ragging. Even speaking to a fresher puts you in danger of being accused of ragging. It is no wonder than that most seniors are determined to avoid the freshers like a plague, which is hardly a healthy situation to exist between co-students.

What is even more irksome is that the laws, while more than adequately protecting the ones being ragged, are absolutely deficient in shielding the ones falsely accused of ragging. The law states that it is for the accused to prove themselves innocent rather that the complainant to prove them guilty. Moreover third party complaints also hold equal weight, meaning that if any random student, senior or fresher happens to complain that you were ragging another unnamed fresher, you would still be suspended. Such extremely one sided laws are so easy to misuse it would be a huge surprise if they weren’t.

Apart from the misuse that these laws will be put to, and the lack of protection against such misuse provided to seniors, these laws combined with the affidavits to be signed will only sour the relations between freshers and seniors, a situation that can be disastrous in a learning environment. Hence though extreme cases of ragging may be avoided, the lack of interaction between the students will certainly strain the university environment, leading to a whole new problem.

The whole crisis is a result of the lack of effort in creating the laws. Instead of understanding the problem of ragging and identifying exactly which aspects of it are dangerous and how to stamp them out, the authorities decided to put together such broad laws that any and every interaction could be penalized. Instead of balancing the power equation, what they did effectively was to simply shift the power from the seniors to the freshers. Only when cases of freshers bullying seniors or a large number of seniors being unfairly expelled comes into the lime light will the authorities realize their error, at which point they shall again try to save face by coming up with more hurried and ridiculous laws with their own set of evils.

This vicious chain can only end when the law making bodies become mature enough to look before they leap, but then again that may be a far fetched dream.

With the new session set to start in less than two weeks, preparations have already begun to welcome a fresh new batch of students to Delhi University. However along with the orientation sessions and freshers’ parties, what cannot be forgotten is the issue of ragging. Stringent laws have been laid down to curb ragging “in all forms” and college authorities assert that they will no leave no stone unturned in penalizing offenders. This time around however, resistance comes not only from the government and college authorities, but from students themselves.

Meanwhile, DUB finds out what the students’ feel about the issue:-

“I will definitely rag my juniors. And why not? It’s not like they’ll rusticate you for the mild childish stuff!”
– Akash Kaul, *2nd year, Hindu College

”My friends and me plan to have some fun with the freshers in a healthy way. We are definitely not going to just leave them alone like our teachers want us to since that way it gets boring. I would know, since that’s what happened to me last time and I did not like it.”
– Revant Varma, 2nd year, Acharya Narendra Dev College

”I’m definitely ragging freshers, but it will just be more of a ‘friendly interaction’. Everybody wants that kind of  fun! If somebody is reluctant then s/he wont be troubled, but I would prefer it if I could get to know my juniors this way. Ragging becomes a problem only when it gets violent or is done with the wrong people i.e. people who do not want to be ragged.”
– Neeti Misra, 2nd year, St. Stephen’s College

“Positive and friendly ragging is interesting and so it’s welcome. No fun without ragging!”
– Ankita Sharma, fresher, Kamla Nehru College

“I am actually looking forward to ragging because I think it’ll be more fun than scary and this is the one chance we get to impress our seniors!”
– Shirine Tigga, fresher, Sri Venkateswara College

“I don’t want to get ragged and am quite apprehensive about my first day in college. I’m an introvert so I won’t be very comfortable doing silly things for the entertainment of my seniors.”
– Priyanka Ghosh, fresher, SRCC

According to the Raghavan committee, set up by the Supreme Court to curb ragging, offenders are to be expelled instead of being suspended as per last year regulations.

The Delhi University Students’ Union has spoken to college principals and hostel wardens.
Posters will be put up in the colleges informing students about the Supreme Court directive.

In more than 20 colleges CCTV cameras have been installed to monitor and check activities such as ragging and eve-teasing. The presence of the CCTV cameras is not to be publicised as university authorities want to take the offenders by surprise.
A toll-free helpline (1800-180-5522) for students in distress was launched by the HRD minister
Another number, 155222, will be functional within three months. Students, parents and guardians can file complaints via the Internet on [email protected] identity of the caller/complainant can remain anonymous.
Other anti-ragging initiatives include 24X7 counseling facilities in hostels and on campus with students and teachers.

Sealed complaint boxes are being set up in different colleges so that students can register their complaints without being identified.

5.Hire a beefy bodyguard and hide behind him at any sign of trouble

4. Chin up, chest out. Strut around like you’re Sylvester Stallone from Rambo and look everyone straight in the eye. You can even nick your little brother’s toy guns and keep twisting them around in your hands cowboy-style for added effect.

3. Hang a camera around your neck. If any seniors approach you, just say you’re there for sight-seeing, get a photo clicked with them and walk off whistling.

2. If you come across any seniors ragging luckless newbies like yourself, just join the seniors, laughing and back-slapping them like you’ve known them all your life. Punch them playfully on the shoulders and drop in suggestions. Soon they’ll be treating you in the college canteen!

1. Get bodypainting done in the colours of your college and merge with the walls to avoid detection