‘The use of electronic communication, particularly mobile phones and the internet, to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature. Online abuse is a larger term that may include cyber bullying, stalking, revenge, online defamation, leaking of private information and hacking.
It can take a number of different forms:
- phone calls, threats and intimidation, harassment or ‘cyber-stalking’ (e.g. repeatedly sending unwanted texts or instant messages)
- sexting (e.g. sending and receiving sexually explicit messages, primarily between mobile phones)
- The use of mobile phone cameras to cause distress, fear or humiliation
- Posting threatening, abusive, defamatory or humiliating material on websites, to include blogs, personal websites, social networking sites
- Hijacking/cloning e-mail accounts
- Making threatening, abusive, defamatory or humiliating remarks in social networks
- exclusion/peer rejection
- unauthorised publication of private information /images
- ‘trolling’ (abusing the internet to provoke or offend others online).
It can be an extension of face-to- face bullying, with technology providing the bully with another route to harass their target.
Cyber bullying and the Law
Cyber bullying is never acceptable and the institution fully recognizes its duty to protect all of its members and to provide a safe, healthy environment for everyone.
Cyber bullying can be considered a criminal offence under the Indian Penal Code, under the I.T. Act, 2000.
Who is covered by this policy?
All DBSoM students are covered by this policy, particularly new students / freshers. This DBSoM policy is gender neutral and covers with equal rigour all students irrespective of sexual orientation, political belief, race, religion, caste or community.
Where does the policy apply?
The policy applies to all DBSoM premises and beyond. Ragging/ Bullying / Cyber Bullying outside DBSoM's premises will also be covered by this policy and therefore it is also prohibited in extended environments such as cafeterias, transport, parking areas, team outings, field trips and institute events at external venues, and in any private or paying guest accommodation.
During what times does the policy apply?
The policy applies at all times 24x7. The policy is not limited to normal institute hours but applies at any time, to all work-related or institute-related functions, including social events.
Any student subject to Ragging/ Bullying / Cyber Bullying or directly or indirectly distressed by any act of Ragging/ Bullying / Cyber Bullying or any student, parent / guardian, faculty, non-teaching staff including support staff who is witnesses or aware of any act of Ragging/ Bullying / Cyber Bullying, should immediately bring such incident to the notice of the institution through the No-Ragging/ Bullying / Cyber Bullying Committee. The names, contact numbers / email details of the members of the Committee, and other professionals namely the Director, Executive Administrator, Dean of Students, will be published on posters, notice / bulletin boards in each campus.
A report will be documented by the No-Ragging/ Bullying / Cyber Bullying Committee and sent to the Director for further action. It will be kept confidential. Enquires into all reported incidents will be conducted and concluded within 7 working days. If required by law, DBSoM may also report the incident to the police or other authorities for criminal action to be initiated.
Consequences in the event of Ragging/ Bullying / Cyber Bullying: Observation and directives of the Supreme Court:
The Supreme Court of India has observed that enrolment in academic pursuits or a campus life should not immunize any adult citizen from the penal provisions of the laws of the land.
According to the directions of the Supreme Court if any instance of Ragging/ Bullying / Cyber Bullying is brought to the notice of the administration or the faculty, it is legally binding to report the matter to the Local Police.
Depending upon the nature and gravity of the offence as established, the possible punishments as per AICTE / UGC Section 9 (UGC Regulations on Curbing the Menace of Ragging in Higher Educational Institutions, 2009) for those found guilty of Ragging/ Bullying / Cyber Bullying at the institutional level, shall be any one or any combination of the following:
- Suspension from attending classes
- Withholding/withdrawing scholarship / fellowship and other benefits
- Debarring from appearing in any jury / test / examination or other evaluation process Withholding results
- Debarring from representing the institution in any regional, national or international meet / exchange programs, conferences / tournament, youth meet / festival, etc.
- Suspension / expulsion from the hostel / paying guest accommodation
- Cancellation of admission
- Rustication from the institution for period ranging from 1 to 4 semesters
- Expulsion from the institution and consequent debarring from admission to any other institution
- Anything which the No-Ragging/ Bullying / Cyber Bullying Committee finds suitable as per the enquiry conducted
Provided that where the persons committing or abetting the act of Ragging / Bullying / Cyber Bullying are not identified, the institution shall resort to collective punishment.