TN says no to cellphones in colleges

Chennai: The State Directorate of Collegiate Education (DCE) has issued a circular to all colleges coming under its control to ban use of cellphones by students inside the premises of the institutions.

A circular issued by Collegiate Education Director R Sarumathi, to all Regional Joint Directors of Collegiate Education (RJD) earlier this month says the ban applies to government, government-aided and self-financing institutions.

The circular states that the decision was made as per the advice of Higher Education Secretary. School Education Department Principal Secretary, Pradeep Yadav, was in charge of Higher Education Department (HED) at that time, as Principal Secretary of HED, Sunil Paliwal, was on leave.

The move is said to have taken by the government department following repeated occurrences of malpractices during exams with the help of cellphones.

Earlier 2005, Anna University had introduced a similar ban, but relaxed it subsequently by restricting the usage to classrooms following opposition from students. Reputed institutions like Indian Institutes of Technology have not imposed such restrictions.

Experts have stated that it is indeed absurd for such a directive to be issued in this day and age when cellphones are becoming the integral part of life for people, irrespective of their economic status.

Though no deadline has been mentioned or set, officials expect colleges to comply soon after they receive official communication from the Regional Joint Director.

While some offices such as the one in Chennai has already forwarded the communication to all colleges, institutions in the Madurai region said they were yet to receive the communication.