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HRD minister Kapil Sibal on ragging

June 20, 2009 22:59 IST

Want to know Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal's take on ragging in educational institutions?

Launching a toll free number -- 1800-180-5522 -- for victims of ragging, in New Delhi, Sibal went back in time to detail how he was ragged when he was fresher in college and how he himself ragged new comers while studying in St Stephen's college in New Delhi.

"I must admit I was ragged and then I ragged the students later on as a senior. But it was decent ragging and we knew where the Laxman Rekha is (we knew our limits). It is when you cross this rekha that trouble begins," he said.

Congratulating University Grants Commission and Bharat Sachar Nigam Limited for launching the help line in line with the directive of the Supreme Court, he said: "Within 15 minutes of getting a call from a distressed person, the mechanism to take action will be set in motion. The parents would be kept in touch by the concerned college where the incident has taken place."

"Any distress message should simultaneously be relayed to the head of the institution, warden or officer of the hostel, district authorities, including the Superintendent of Police. The moment a student enters a college with an affidavit, all information on him/her will be available. Strict action will be taken against institutions that do not take action as per the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court," Sibal said.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi