NMC Introduces Stringent Ragging Laws With Stern Punitive Action
23rd November 2021, the National Medical Commission (NMC) passed the (Prevention and Prohibition of Ragging in Medical Colleges and Institutions) Regulations, 2021. With a view to eradicating the menace of ragging, the new regulation is stricter in its approach, and an attempt to make an all-encompassing definition has been made. Activities causing physiological and psychological harm, embarrassment, shame to a fresher or any other student, among others have been included in the definition.
The definition of ragging as per the Regulation of 2021 is provided as:
- Definition of Ragging.––Ragging shall mean 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.
This definition is similar to the definition provided under the Regulations of 2009. The new set of activities included in the definition are:
- exploiting the services of a fresher for completing academic tasks,
- financial extortion or forceful expenditure burden put on a fresher,
- abusive spoke words, emails, posts, snail-mails, blogs, public insults
- deriving perverted pleasure, vicarious or sadistic thrill from actively or passively causing vexation to fresher or any other student;
- any abuse (physical or mental) on the grounds of colour, race, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, caste or place of birth.
The Regulations have further specified that there shall be an appointment of an anti-ragging squad and committee in every medical college and institution. The students along with their guardians have to give a separate undertaking and the students of the first year, i.e., the freshers will be given a mentor who shall look after them throughout the first year and especially in incidents relating to ragging.
In the event of non-adherence by any institution, NMC has the authority to take action against the institution or the college which may include reduction of seats or any other punishment as it considers appropriate. As per the regulations, matters of discipline are expected to be settled within the institution. However, incidents encroaching on law and order or resulting in a breach of peace and public tranquillity will be dealt with by penal laws attracting punitive actions.
Likewise, the medical college will be authorised and shall have the power to act against the students indulging in ragging through various means including withholding of scholarship, suspension, expulsion from the college and debarring to take admission in any other medical college or institute for a certain period, and it may also impose fine of Rs. 25,000 extended up to Rs. 1,00,000.
The Regulations are a timely move towards curbing the menace of ragging.
Rasmita Behera | Research Intern | EduLegaL
Swapna Iyer | Legal Editor | EduLegaL