The National Medical Commission (NMC) has framed new regulation to curb incidents of ragging in medical institutions. The National Medical Commission (Prevention and Prohibition of Ragging in Medical Colleges and Institutions) Regulations 2021 has expanded the definition of ragging and recommended derecognition of a medical institution and reduction in admission capacity for failure to curb ragging incidents. The regulations have been notified 12 years after the defunct Medical Council of India notified similar regulations for India’s medical institutions. The new regulations are more in sync with the current medical education system.
The regulations define ragging as “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 a student will not do in 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.”
While this broad definition is the same as in the 2009 regulations, the new set of rules have specified other acts also under ragging in greater detail. These include exploiting the services of a fresher for completing academic tasks, financial extortion or forceful expenditure burden put on a fresher, emails, any abuse (physical or mental) on the grounds of colour, race, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, caste or place of birth.
Every medical institution will appoint anti-ragging squads and committees. Every medical student and her guardian will give separate undertakings (on forms specified) at the time of admission that the student will not involve in ragging. Freshers will be allotted faculty members as “mentors” who will handhold them through the first year and guide, especially in case of an incident of ragging.
If an institution fails to curb ragging incidents, NMC can take actions including derecognition of the institution, reduction of admission capacity or any exemplary punishment. All matters of discipline will be resolved within the institution. In case of any incident impinging on law and order or breach of peace and public tranquility, the penal laws will come into force.
The medical college can take punitive action like withholding scholarship, suspension or rustication of an errant student, expulsion from the medical college and consequent debarring from admission to any other institution for a specified period, imposition of fine between Rs 25,000 and Rs 1 lakh and cancellation of admission.