Monday, July 25, 2011

Haryana college bans use of mobile phones by girls

JIND: In an incident that conforms to the prevailing gender bias in Haryana, the Priyadarshni Indira Gandhi Govt College for Women here has imposed a blanket ban on students bringing mobile phones in the college even as Govt Postgraduate College for Men, located in the same campus, has not imposed any restriction on mobile use by students.

The women's college authorities maintained that the ban had been enforced to ensure discipline in the college as it had become an instrument of disturbance in the college. The college had formed two separate committees to implement the decision against use of mobile phones by students.

When contacted by TOI, college principal Dr S K Ahuja stated that college staff had collectively taken a decision to this effect before the start of fresh academic session last week. "We announced the decision in the general assembly on July 22 held in the college at the beginning of the session. With mobile phones in their hands, students could not concentrate on lectures during classes. Moreover, they exchange SMSs during classes. Students even bunk classes as it has become easier to communicate with their known persons outside the college", the principal stated.

He informed that the college had constituted two committees - mobile search committee and committee to decide cases of mobile recovery -- comprising teaching and non-teaching staff of the college.

"The mobile search committee could raid students randomly any time anywhere in the campus and hand over the set to the other committee. A fine of Rs 50 to Rs 100 could be imposed on the guilty student on first recovery and the set would be returned only to her parents after a written undertaking. If the same student is found in possession of the mobile again, she could be suspended from the college", he stated adding that college wants the students to concentrate on studies and excel in their lives.

Staff members of the college also backed the decision stating that girl students are often disturbed by outside elements by sending SMSs. Students however opposed the move saying they need mobiles as they could contact their parents in case of any emergency.

"There are so many instances of teasing that sometimes we have to call our family members or police to get rid of the anti-social elements. College authorities could direct us to switch off mobiles on entering the college for maintaining better discipline but a blanket ban is uncalled for", said a first year student, on condition of anonymity.

Surprisingly, the Govt Postgraduate College for Men, located in the same campus, which shares the entrance with the women's college, has no such restrictions on students. Dr Mehtab Singh, principal of men's college, stated, "Though we discourage use of mobiles in the college, we have not taken a decision to ban it. Boys are very difficult to discipline and even if we take such a decision, it would be tough to enforce the same".


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