MBBS 1st year students should have separate hostels with monitored access of seniors: NMC draft Ragging Guidelines
New Delhi: First-year MBBS students (freshers) should be allocated in separate hostels blocks with monitored access to seniors the recent draft guidelines released by the National Medical Commission (NMC) has proposed as a measure for prevention and prohibition of ragging instances in medical institutions across the country.
As described in the 'Draft Guidelines, Rules & Regulations for Prevention and Prohibition of Ragging', Ragging is "Any disorderly conduct whether by words spoken or written or by an act which has the effect of teasing, treating or handling with rudeness any other student, indulging in rowdy or undisciplined activities which causes or is likely to cause annoyance, hardship or psychological harm or to raise fear or apprehension thereof in a fresher or a junior student or asking the students to do any act or perform something which such student will not in the ordinary course and which has the effect of causing or generating a sense of shame or embarrassment so as to adversely affect the physique or psyche of a fresher or a junior student."
With an aim towards ending this ragging menace that continues to plague the Indian medical education sector, the apex medical regulator has issued guidelines on the prohibition of ragging matters previously as well but this is one of the most explicit documents.
These guidelines significantly outline the actions that may constitute ragging, measures to be taken by medical institutions to prohibit ragging as well as encouraging healthy interaction between freshers and seniors.
The draft regulations further amplify the importance of sensitization of institutional employees and staff towards Ragging and outline the constitution of an anti-ragging committee to monitor such instances taking place in the colleges, duties of hostels, wardens, committee, universities and the apex medical regulator itself.
Furthermore, the guidelines also specify the disciplinary action that would be taken against the guilty parties.
Keeping in mind the welfare of fresher first-year MBBS students who become ragging victims time and again, the NMC has proposed the allocation of separate hostels for their stay.
In one of the measures to be taken by the institution to Prevent Ragging, the NMC has insisted,
"Freshers shall be lodged, as far as may be, in a separate hostel block or wing and the institution shall ensure that access of seniors to accommodation allotted to freshers is strictly monitored by wardens, security guards, and other staff of the institution."
In addition, the NMC suggested that the institution should conduct separate orientation programs for fresh students to apprize and familiarize them with the academic environment of the institution and the freshers should be counselled to prepare them for the life ahead, particularly in regard to life in hostels and to the extent possible, also involve parents and teachers in the counselling sessions.
The institution shall make the community at large and the students in particular aware of the dehumanizing effect of ragging, and the approach of the institution towards those indulging in ragging, even utilizing the media to give wide publicity and prominently display posters depicting the provisions of penal law applicable to incidents of ragging, and the provisions of these Regulations in the premises of the institutions especially the hostels
The contact numbers/ details of the control room/helpline/personnel related to anti-ragging activities should be prominently displayed, provided, and easily available to freshers and all concerned so that immediate contact can be established whenever necessary
The institution shall identify, properly illuminate and keep a close watch on all locations are known to be vulnerable to occurrences of ragging incidents
It should be ensured that except in those areas where unavoidable, there should be no hindrance, by way of jamming, etc, to the use of mobile phones, within the institution including hostels and other areas
It is recommended that monitoring of the campus, or at least areas vulnerable to incidents of ragging are done through video-surveillance
Every institution shall engage or seek the assistance of professional counsellors or in-house counsellors as may be available in the Department of Psychiatry before the commencement of the academic session, to be available for counselling students
The local police and authorities should be provided with details of the dates of admission and the addresses of every privately commercially managed hostel or lodge used for residential purposes by students enrolled in the institution
The following measure shall be taken by the institution at the time of the admission process
Every student at the time of his/her registration shall inform the institution about his/her place of residence while pursuing the course of study, and in case the student has not decided his/her place of residence or intends to change the same, the details of his place of residence shall be provided immediately on deciding the same; and specifically in regard to a private commercially managed lodge or hostel where he/she has taken up residence.
Every fresh student admitted to the institution shall be provided with
a. Details of those who could be contacted such as of the Anti-Ragging Helpline /Control Room referred to in these Regulations, Wardens, Head of the institution, Members of the Anti-Ragging Squads, and Committees, relevant District and Police authorities; for help and guidance at any time, if and when required
b. The details of arrangements made for their induction and orientation promote efficient and effective means of integrating them fully as students with those already admitted of the institution in earlier years
c. Their rights as bonafide students of the institution
d. Clear instructions that they should desist from doing anything, with or against their will, even if ordered to by the senior's students, and that any attempt of ragging shall be promptly reported to the Anti-ragging Squad or to the Warden or to the Head of the institution, as the case may be
e. Instructions that at least for a specified period that they would be accompanied and monitored appropriately should they leave their hostel premises to a boarding facility/mess/ canteen or to a recreational facility such as the gymnasium especially in the evening or at night
f. All freshers should seek prior permission and provide contact details and timings of leaving and expected return to hostels and reasons for such visit should they for any reason leave the hostel and institutional premises, such as to visit local guardians etc
Guidelines for Hostel Committee:
The institution may choose to have a separate Student Affairs / Hostel Committee to look after affairs of the Hostel under a Senior Faculty Member who would oversee the affairs of the Hostels. The designated Warden may function under this Committee. This committee shall play an important role in co-ordinating and implementing all anti-ragging measures related to hostels.
The Hostel Warden is a person employed or designated to take care of administrative affairs, supervise boarding and lodging of students in hostels and ensure that the Rules and Regulations as applicable are obeyed
(a) Wardens shall be appointed as per the eligibility criteria laid down by UGC or any other competent authority of the concerned University / the State Government / Institution
(b) Wardens may be assisted by Deputy Wardens/ Assistant Wardens who shall perform similar duties under the supervision of the Warden
(c) The Warden may function under a Hostel Committee or in any manner as approved by the Institution
(d) The Wardens have an essential and important role to play in the anti-ragging efforts of the institution since the hostels are vulnerable areas especially after normal academic hours when freshers and senior students are likely to face each other in the hostels
(e) Wardens shall be accessible at all hours and shall be provided with mobile phones.
(f) The institution shall review and suitably enhance the powers and perquisites of Wardens and authorities involved in curbing the menace of ragging
(g) Wardens may be empowered to control Security personnel m hostels for anti-ragging measures
To read the full guidelines, click on the following link: