Maharashtra is fifth worst in ragging cases; 10 pc ragging complaints over caste-based harassment

Published: Jun 04, 2019, 07:21 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

While it may not be as bad as UP (1,069) or Bengal (718), 10-year data shows harassment by upper caste students is prevalent in higher education institutions of Maharashtra, with medicine being the worst

Maharashtra is fifth worst in ragging cases; 10 pc ragging complaints over caste-based harassment
Ten per cent of the cases are related to casteist slurs by upper caste students, mostly in medicine. REPRESENTATION PIC/Getty Images

While it may not be as bad as UP (1,069) or Bengal (718), 10-year data shows harassment by upper caste students is prevalent in higher education institutions of Maharashtra, with medicine being the worst.

According to the date provided by UGC to mid-day, since 2009, as many as 328 complaints on the helpline have come from Maharashtra, making it the state with the fifth highest number of recorded ragging cases.

Ragging is illegal in India and violators are punishable under anti-ragging regulations. But as per UGC's data, this hasn't stopped the prevalence of these incidents across the country. The national anti-ragging hotline -1800-180-5522 - records 84 cases of ragging every day, with four of those cases coming from Maharashtra. Experts say the gradual rise in awareness among students is causing the increase in the number of complaints being registered through the helpline.

Also Read: Anti-ragging committees in Mumbai colleges to be upgraded

Rise because of awareness

In 2009, only nine cases of ragging were reported, which went up to 53 in 2018 (See box). Similarly, data across the country shows a 200 per cent rise in the number of recorded cases. In 2009, 345 cases were recorded in India, which has now surged to 1,016.

Rajendra Kachroo, who runs the Aman Satya Kachroo Trust and is in-charge of the national anti-ragging helpline, said, "With rising awareness among students, we have seen a steady climb in the number of calls on the helpline. This doesn't mean harassment or ragging has increased; there is a growing alertness among students."

Medical college student
According to the data, caste-based harassment is most common among medical college students. REPRESENTATION PIC/Getty Images

The number of cases reported from Maharashtra since 2009 - 328 - have taken the state to the fifth position nationwide. Uttar Pradesh tops the list with 1,069 cases, followed by West Bengal at 718, Madhya Pradesh at 648, and Tamil Nadu at 331.

Also Read: How to correctly handle ragging? Akola college shows the way

State of ragging

In 2018, Maharashtra alone recorded 44 cases of ragging. The Government Medical College in Miraj, Sangli has recorded the highest number with eight such cases followed by the Government Medical College in Nagpur with five cases.

From Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, ragging cases have been recorded at six medical colleges. The highest number has been recorded at Topiwala National medical college (Nair) and Dr D Y Patil Medical College with three each. The list also includes the Seth G S medical college (KEM), Lokmanya Tilak medical college, Mahatma Gandhi missions medical college and MGM medical college with one case each.

Caste-based cases

Ragging in Maharashtra

Around 10 per cent of the total cases recorded since 2009 are regarding caste-based harassment. Kachroo added, "Caste-based harassment comprises around 10 per cent of the cases we receive. It is most common among medical college students, which is extremely surprising."

According to the data, among every 100 students pursuing medicine in the country's 450 medical colleges, 37 are subjected to ragging. Comparatively, among other colleges, including engineering, the percentage of ragging recorded in 2018 was 1.8 per cent.

Ragging in numbers nationwide

Since 2009, a total of 738 cases of ragging have been recorded from the 450 medical colleges, whereas, 3,965 cases of ragging have been recorded from 47,000 other colleges.

Med colleges biggest issue

Explaining the numbers, Kachroo said, "Medical colleges have the biggest problem when it comes to ragging. There has been an over 70 per cent rise in the number of such cases in medical colleges. The seriousness of the issue can be understood only when one compares the ratio of the number of students to the cases, which is the highest among medical colleges."

However, Dr Ravikant Singh, president of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) in 2007, blamed the problem on the system for creating too much pressure on medical students. He feels this causes caste-based discrimination, "Most of the medical colleges reel under an overflowing number of patients and it becomes extremely tough for medical students. They suffer under too much pressure and try to vent out their frustration on their juniors. This is still unacceptable," he said.

328

No. of ragging cases recorded in Maharashtra since 2009

84

No. of ragging cases reported daily all over the country

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