A tug-of-war between students and the administration is common across colleges in the University of Delhi, where the former sees the policy as regressive, and the latter is welcoming of it.
In an official statement by the Delhi University (DU) administration, dated 1st January 2019, it is declared that DU college campuses are to be strictly cellphone-free. The policy is to be implemented from the coming semester in all the colleges that come under the umbrella of the varsity. The statement further read that any student carrying a cellphone will have to hand it in, and it will only be returned to them when a parent or a guardian has duly signed a letter stating the reasons for the breach of rule.
This ruling has resulted in student agitation, on grounds that cellphones are a basic human need these days, and everything from class timings to syllabus and notes are discussed over platforms like WhatsApp and E-mail.
“We fail to understand why in the 21st century such prehistoric rules are being forced on us,” says Ashwin Gupta, a
student from North Campus. “It would be an extreme inconvenience for students and teachers alike.” In accordance with what the students are saying, the professors, too, are against the said policy. “While DU claims to be modernising the system in every way they can, what we see today goes against that claim,” said a professor under conditions of anonymity. “Are we expected to hand out printed notes, which may go up to a 100 pages per student, per paper, every semester?”Protests were seen near the gates of the Arts Faculty, North Campus. However, little solution came out of the incident. Speaking to DU Beat, Nitin Alok, a member of the varsity administration board said that cellphones and the internet serve as distractions in classrooms, and that students should focus on the professors rather than their phone screens. “I am sure that the GPA of the students will increase this semester because of our policy,” Alok added.The efficacy and implementation of this policy will be judged in the coming days when college starts again for the term.
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