An Aligarh-based government aided college’s move to install CCTV cameras in some of its men’s bathrooms has created a furore among its students, who said it was an invasion of their privacy.
The administration of Dharam Samaj Degree College has installed a CCTV camera in each of the three men’s bathrooms in one of its building complexes where LLB, BBA and BCA exams are being conducted for male students.
Principal H Prakash, who recently took charge, told The Indian Express, “We have fixed the cameras in the farthest corner of the urinals, which only captures the backs of students. Just like one sees men relieving themselves on roads in public. This does not amount to invasion of privacy.”
One of the reasons students said they were objecting to the same was that one of the proctors is a woman. “There is a male proctor for male students and the female one only deals with women. So there is no question of a woman scanning the CCTV footage. These cameras have only been fixed in urinals, not in the bathrooms where one changes clothes,” Prakash added.
The principal said the cameras had been installed after legal consultation. “We cannot strip-search students to see if they are hiding chits of study material in their clothing. They tend to access these in the urinals. We have formed teams to follow students to the toilets to prevent them from cheating, but students have managed to circumvent these efforts. Then we came up with the idea of installing cameras and it has reduced the incidents of cheating,” he added.
According to a PTI report, Amit Goswami, who belongs to a Hindu right-wing organisation, argued that there were many other alternative means to check cheating in examinations. Some other youth organisations announced that they would take the matter to court, the report added.