Kirori Mal College (KMC) has banned its students from using cellphones in classrooms and corridors. A notice issued by the college administration states that the cellphones of students, who violate the rule, would be confiscated and a penalty would be imposed.
Dinesh Khattar, the newly-appointed acting principal, has claimed that the move is meant to ensure discipline inside classrooms. “I don’t want classes to be disturbed. At the very least, students should keep their phones switched off in class. We are trying to figure out how this can be implemented,” he said.
The notice, however, has not gone down well with some students as well as teachers, who see it as an “attack” on their freedom and democratic rights.
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“This is a direct attack on the freedom of students. It sounds similar to a Khap diktat asking girls not to use cellphones. I don’t see the logic behind this. I have never had any problem with students using cellphones in my class,” said Bali Singh, associate professor of Hindi.
A teacher in the Department of Economics raised questions on why a similar ban was not imposed on teachers. “If the idea is to not disturb the lectures, then even teachers should be banned from carrying their cellphones,” the teacher said.
Many students are also miffed by the notice. “This is complete dictatorship. We come from far-off places and need our phones. They can tell us to keep it on silent mode but this is too much. Even teachers disturb classes when their phones ring, why not confiscate their phones too,” said a student.
Others questioned the ban on the use of cellphones in corridors. “What’s the point, there are no classes there,” said a student.