7 things you should know about ragging

What is ragging all about? And what can you do about it?

7 things you should know about ragging
By Anam Naqvi updated on 08-Sep-2014            

On April 24 2014, the University Grants Commission (UGC) asked institutes to install electronic surveillance systems and alarm bells to curb instances of ragging, especially inside canteens, hostels and along college corridors and lawns. And it mandated surprise inspections to such spots that are conventionally used for ragging purposes. It also asked institutes to form anti-ragging squads, quick-response teams and identify students who generally create trouble at the beginning of the academic year itself.

Pick a College spoke to a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a counselor and a director of Student Affairs to get an insight into the culture of ragging. The following questions deal with the concerns that students have about ragging when they begin their journey as undergraduates.
 1. Where does one draw the line between an interaction and ragging?

Know the difference between an icebreaker session and an uncomfortable communication.

“If the person at the receiving end feels his or her personal space being infringed upon, and feels vulnerable, or experiences discomfort and distress, a significant boundary has been crossed—then a healthy interaction can become a traumatic experience," says Kamna Chhibber, Clinical Psychologist, Fortis Healthcare.

Dr Saurabh Mehrotra, Consultant Psychiatrist, Medanta Medicity, has a similar view. “Abuse in any form (physical/ verbal/emotional), humiliation, ridicule and insult make interactions unhealthy.”

 2. What is a healthy way for juniors to get introduced to seniors?

 A freshers’ party formally organised by the institute can help students feel at ease in the college and with their seniors.

 “Activities designed as officially supervised orientation for juniors, where seniors interact with juniors, are desirable. Seminars, workshops and festival celebrations create a friendly atmosphere on campus,” says Dr Indira Bairy, Director of Student Affairs, Manipal University.

 “Seniors should not engage with students who show signs of feeling uncomfortable with an interaction. They can be approached again later and asked for an introduction,” advises Dr Shikha Jain, Counselor, IIT-Roorkee.

 3. What is the need for ragging? Is it the only way to break the ice between seniors and juniors?

Ragging in colleges is quite common or at least it used to be. The older generation thinks nothing of banter or brawl. They see it as harmless. But is it really as inconsequential as they believe it to be?

“Ragging has become a part of student culture, almost a rite of initiation into college life. Incidents fail to surprise us till something really drastic happens, something that shocks civil society,” opines Chibber.

Dr Bairy says: “Seniors want control over the lives of new students and hence resort to subduing them. Ragging is also part of a vicious cycle where those who have been ragged want to rag to vent their anger.”

Dr Mehrotra has a similar view, “Ragging is intended to be harmless, to make juniors less shy. But these are myths. Ragging in real life is a means of venting frustrations, prejudices and even sadistic impulses. It is a known fact that people are ragged on the grounds of caste, region, colour and status.”

 4. Is ragging more severe in engineering colleges? Does staying in a hostel make one more susceptible to ragging?

Most media stories about extreme cases of ragging pertain to engineering colleges and hostels. Bollywood films like ‘3 Idiots’ support such reportage. Is it true that engineering students face the highest risk of being ragged?


It’s highly unfortunate that some of the best minds enter engineering and medical colleges and it is in these two streams that cases of ragging are most prevalent,” says Dr Mehrotra.

“Ragging happens more in hostels because hostels are seen as ‘safe’ places for ragging and students stay there for the most part. Day scholars do not face the brunt as they head home after classes. In fact ragging mostly takes place at night,” he adds.

According to Dr Bairy, “In general, ragging is more prevalent in residential campuses and hostels. But measures taken by administrative authorities and wardens can eradicate ragging.”

 5. How can a student deal with ragging? Should they approach authorities?

Despite measures taken by the authorities, it is vital to know what to do if you are ragged.

Bairy lists the authorities that one should approach in case such a mishap happens: First, call the student helpline number that is publicised on campus. Next, approach the anti-ragging squad, wardens and teachers.

Chibber believes that students should first stand up for themselves and refuse to do anything that degrades them as people. “A student must remain firm in the first instance when boundaries are crossed and not wait for things to escalate to take action. One must also be aware of the redressal system that operates in the institute. ”

 She also suggests sharing the experience with friends to deal with the mental stress that comes with ragging. “Building a support system is a must. And students must not feel anxious, shy, scared or ashamed of talking about what happened and seeking help.”

 6. Will speaking up invite instances of repeat offence from seniors or alienate the victim?

While Jain and Chibber think the outcome of speaking up cannot be predicted, they believe that students must always report cases of ragging as it strengthens them as individuals.

 “Speaking up will not invite a repeat offence. In fact, not reporting the incident is likely to do so. Courage is likely to invoke fear in the seniors, particularly with the strict laws in place,” says Dr Mehrotra.

Bairy says reporting cases leads to the punishment of perpetrators and puts them in the right place without affecting the victim in any way.

7.  Should cases of ragging deter students and parents from choosing a particular college?

 “It depends on your priorities and choice of college,” says Bairy.
It is important to note how the respective administrations deal with ragging cases. Ragging is not the attribute of an institution but depends on the quality of students studying in it, at a particular time. Even a
premier institute could be tainted by a ragging case but this will not affect its position in the long run.



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Everything you wanted to know about the JEE Mains counselling

Read on to know what is expected from you before and after the counselling.

Everything you wanted to know about the JEE Mains counselling
By Ananya Mazumdar updated on 30-Jun-2014

So you’ve made it through the JEE Main and are wondering what comes next?

JEE Main 2014 counselling starts in July. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Central Seat Allocation Board (CSAB) organise the counselling in various rounds. This year, all rounds of the JEE Main counselling will be conducted online. All those candidates who have qualified the entrance exam and whose names have been shortlisted in the final merit list will take part. An offline interaction for students to confirm admission in their allocated college happens only after the last round.

A reminder: JEE Main 2014 counselling covers admission to all the NITs, IIITs, state colleges and other centrally funded technical institutions.

Here’s what you have to do before and after the counselling:

Step 1: Register online

  • If you have qualified in the JEE Main,  register yourself online for counselling.
  • Visit the official counselling portal of the CSAB.
  • Follow the “New Registration” link, which will ask you for some personal information—your name, address, date of birth, JEE Main application number, exam roll number, etc. Your submitted details will be compared with those in the exam database. You will be allowed to proceed with the registration process only after the two sets of details match.
  • You will be asked for your personal credentials, caste, category information etc.
  • Make sure you submit correct contact information so that you don’t miss out on any communication.
  • Submit the prescribed registration fee  online or via an offline mode.
Step 2: Spell out your choices

  • You will be shown the list of all the courses and colleges you can apply for.
  • Choose your preferred options for courses and colleges as per your position on the merit list and carefully arrange them in increasing order.
  • You can change this order as many times as you wish till the day the choices are locked.
  • If you forget to lock your choices, whatever you have filled in will be locked automatically.
  • Thereafter, your choices can only be altered after the results of each counselling round are declared.

 Step 3: Review the seat that is provisionally allocated to you

  • Seats are provisionally allocated on the basis of candidates' preferences, their merit and the annual intake of students in each college.
  • If you are NOT satisfied with the seat allotment, you can opt for a second round of seat allotment.
  • You can participate in as many rounds of counselling as are organised. Just bear in mind that your previously allocated seat will be cancelled if you choose to do so.
  • Finally, the CSAB will release the complete details of seat allocation during all the rounds of the JEE Main counselling.        

Step 4: Report at your assigned centre for document verification

  • Assuming that you are happy with the seat allocated to you, report at your assigned centre (as mentioned on the counselling portal) to pay up the rest of the admission fee and complete the remaining admission formalities.
  • First, your documents will be verified to confirm your eligibility for admission.  You will be asked to produce your original class X mark sheet and certificate, class XII mark sheet and certificate, migration certificate, category certificate (if applicable), physical fitness certificate and your JEE Main admit card and score card.
  • Seat allocations will be cancelled if any discrepancy is found in the documents.

 Step 5: Deposit your fees and acknowledge the allocation

  • Next, you will have to submit the admission fees as indicated in the admission brochure.
  • Fees are usually submitted by demand drafts.
  • You will receive an acknowledgement of your admission via JEE Main 2014 counselling and be advised to report at the allocated college on a certain date.

 Deadlines for JEE Main 2014 counselling:

  • Release of rank list: July 2014 First Week
  • Last Date for online registration: July 2014 Second Week
  • Online filling of options and locking of choices: July 2014 Second Week
  • Release of results of first round: July 2014 Second Week
  • Reporting at the assigned centre after the first round: July 2014 Second Week
  • Round two of JEE Main 2014 counselling and seat upgradation: July 2014 Third Week
  • Reporting at the assigned centre after the second round: July 2014 Third Week
  • Withdrawal of admissions: July 2014 Third Week (at reporting centres ONLY)
  • Vacancy declaration and seat upgradation: July 2014 Third Week
  • Seat allocation via spot and extra spot rounds: July 2014 Last Week

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