Friday, 10 April 2009

Ragging in medical colleges: MCI comes out with stern guidelines

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, April 9: Perturbed over increasing instances of ragging in medical colleges across the country, the Medical Council of India has come out with anti-ragging guidelines making it mandatory on the part of every student seeking admission into medical colleges to furnish "character certificates".

Students joining MBBS courses from this academic year (2009-2010) will have to submit along with other mandatory documents, a certificate from the head of the institution last studied that the student's character is impeccable and that "he or she had not displayed persistent violent or aggressive behaviour or any desire to harm others".

Only those students producing this character certificate will be eligible for admission into the MBBS course. The MCI has also made medical colleges responsible for any ragging incident that takes place on the campus. Parents will also be held responsible for the behaviour of their wards.

The MCI guidelines comes in the wake of a stern directive from Supreme Court that it take measures to prevent ragging in medical colleges. The guidelines were prepared by Dr RK Raghavan Committee appointed by the apex court.

Moreover, students seeking admission into hostels should submit personal undertaking every year. Respective universities will ensure that the MCI guidelines are strictly adhered to. The colleges should appoint ‘professional counselors’ at the time of admissions to counsel ‘freshers’ to prepare them for the life ahead, specially for
adjusting to the life in hostels.

"The managements should ensure that there will be a clear gap of one to two weeks between the date of joining of ‘freshers’ and the ‘seniors’, ensuring that classes for the seniors commence later, so as to enable the ‘freshers’ to familiarise themselves with the campus environment and adjust to the sudden changeover from schools to higher education," said MCI secretary Lt. Col (rtd) Dr ARN Setalvad.

The guidelines stipulate that all colleges should have anti-ragging committees and anti-ragging squads. Besides, there should also be a "mentoring cell’ to oversee and involve senior students as ‘mentors’ for the ‘freshers’. An anonymous random survey should be conducted by each institution across the entire first year batch of students every fortnight during the first three months of the academic session to cross-check whether the campus is genuinely ragging free.

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