THE UTTARAKHAND government will conduct opinion polls among students in higher educational institutions across the state starting February 15 to decide whether mobile phones should be allowed inside classrooms during lectures or not.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Higher Education Minister Dhan Singh Rawat said: “The use of mobile phones has become essential in the Internet era, and students use them for studies, too. I am going to hold a dialogue with students, guardians and teachers on whether phones should be allowed in classrooms during lectures. If 51 per cent or more students agree that phones should not be carried inside classrooms, some arrangement will be made for the collection and storage of phones during lectures. There will be no restriction on carrying phones on the campus.”
The government will also seek opinion on whether teachers should be allowed to carry phones inside classrooms during lectures.
Rawat said the opinion of students would be taken during seminars that will be held in colleges across the state next month. Uttarakhand has 10 state universities and around 280 colleges that include government-run institutions, and aided, private and self-financed colleges.
Ajay Saksena, who is the principal of DAV College, one of the leading institutions in the state, described the government’s move as “a good initiative” to avoid distraction during classes. But the flip side, he said, is that if phones are banned inside classrooms, their storage would be difficult. “We have received complaints of theft whenever we have asked students to deposit their phones outside examination halls,” he said.