|Facing the heat
Thiruvananthapuram, June 26: The Kerala government has barred mobile phones, fashion shows and gyrating dances at educational institutions, less than a week after Mumbai University proposed imposing a strict dress code on college campuses.
Both have cited the same objective ' to ensure that students do not cross “the limits of decency”.
A statement issued here on Saturday said there would, however, be no bar on conventional art and cultural programmes approved by ethics committees of the educational institutions.
The new norms prohibit school students from carrying mobile phones. Teachers are allowed to carry cellphones but are required to switch them off before entering classrooms. College students have to switch off the phones once inside the campus.
The heads of the institutions and the ethics committees have been asked to take exemplary action if these norms are violated. The government, the statement said, will cancel the recognition to the institution and also take action against its authorities if the rules are not enforced.
The ethics panels will supervise the enforcement of the order and report on the 10th of every month to the state-level committee, which will submit a consolidated report to the education minister by the 15th.
Kerala education secretary Sajan Peter said the government had already amended the Schools’ Youth Festival manual, deleting cinematic dances.
The main responsibility for ensuring ethical standards lies with the parents and teachers, who would preview items for college festivals and ensure that there is no scope to breach decency on stage.
The Kerala decision comes in the backdrop of a Delhi schoolboy’s misadventure with a fellow student a few months ago and the recent rape of a girl on Mumbai’s Marine Drive following which Mumbai University floated the dress-code proposal.
The vice-chancellor of the varsity had said last week that “scantily-clothed students could be one of the reasons that such incidents happen”.
There have been a few instances of students in Kerala infringing on the privacy of others. A youth recently admitted on a TV talk show that he was sent with camera phones to campuses to snap pictures of girls.
A few months ago, Kerala police arrested an engineering student in Thrissur for blackmailing girls with morphed nude pictures.