The college managements this year have allotted first year students separate buses, messes and even staff to keep an eye on the potential trouble-makers. Interactive sessions in about 150 engineering colleges have also been organized by the city police to prevent incidents of ragging. "

We are plying separate buses for freshers so that even when they are not on the college premises there will not be any kind of ragging. The extra care is being taken as we do not want any student to be a victim of any kind of prank," D Changal Raju, principal of Vasavi College said.

With the new academic year having begun, the administrative wings of colleges have geared up to prevent ragging. Several colleges have segregated the juniors, including introduction of separate lunch timings so that students do not meet in the canteen or anywhere on the campus. In Vasavi College of Engineering and Nizam's Institute of Engineering, separate buses are being used to ferry freshers. Vasavi has even put the faculty on weekly duties to go around the college premises.

They have been asked to keep an eye on the seniors, especially near the parking place, gate, college canteen and also the spots less frequented by students. "It is nice to know that the college cares for us. We get a sense of protection," a fresher from CBIT, Sri Ram Kishore said. Besides their own strategies to prevent ragging, college authorities are also involving the police. The colleges have distributed pamphlets with phone numbers of the police.

They have also asked the police to stay put at public places near the colleges such as bus stop, which is a potential ragging spot.Normally ragging in engineering colleges in the city lasts for months, till the fresher's day is celebrated and sometimes beyond that.

Apart from the general preventive measures, CBIT has even introduced separate mess for junior students where the seniors are not allowed. At least two faculty members are posted at the entrance of the mess. "We have staff that is on duty in the buses as well. Staff members stay even after college hours so that students do not stay back and resort to ragging," CBIT principal B Chenna Kesava Rao said. However, some students feel that such strict rules might not help develop bonhomie between the seniors and the juniors.

"There will be no spirit of unity among the students. We will not be able to come together for any kind of competitions or other events where the college has to be represented," said a third-year student of Vasavi College. The restrictions in the colleges will continue till the freshers' day where the first year students will be formally welcomed and introduced.

Source: Times of India