The Tamil Nadu government has banned the use of cell phone in colleges across the state.
According to one report in The Hindu, a circular to this effect has been issued by the Directorate of Collegiate Education to all government, government-aided and self-financing colleges.
According to the newspaper, “The circular states that the decision was made as per the advice of Higher Education Secretary (in charge). Pradeep Yadav, Principal Secretary, School Education Department, was in charge of Higher Education Department (HED) at that time, as Sunil Paliwal, Principal Secretary, HED, was on leave, an official said.”
However, the move has been opposed by a section of students, parents as well as academicians.
Speaking to NDTV, one student said, "Most students are already adults when they enter college and the use of mobile phones cannot be dictated by authorities. The choice should be left to the students. One of the reasons cited was safety of girls but even with the ban in many colleges, girls face problems."
Speaking to The Hindu, R Murali, former Principal of Madura College and State general secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), said that the ban was “regressive and absurd”.
“When mobile phones are becoming an integral part of life for people, irrespective of their economic status, it is highly conservative to ask students not to use them in colleges. There can be reasonable restrictions on the usage inside classrooms. But not a total ban,” he said.
Speaking to the Times of India, S Arumainathan of the Tamil Nadu Students’ Parents Welfare Association said cell phones are a necessity for students studying at colleges far from their homes.
"With cell phones, students can inform their parents of their whereabouts or any delays. Parents will now have to wait anxiously till their wards get home. The government can regulate their usage in classrooms, labs and other areas in such a way that there is no disturbance," he said.