At SIES Graduate School of Technology in Nerul, talk is anything but cheap – especially if it’s on a mobile phone. Students seen using – or even in possession of – their mobile phones are immediately fined Rs 5,000.
While the college insists it is discipline, students feel the exorbitant sum amounts to extortion
While the college insists that the crux of the issue is discipline, students have labelled it extortion. The fact that a college in the same neighbourhood fines students Rs 500 for the same offence adds weight to their claims.
For students who say they don’t have the cash on them when they are seen with their mobile phones, the college insists on payment by installments.
Pic for representation/Thinkstock
The notice pasted on the college board warns students that mobile phones are banned in the premises, and announces that a fine of R5,000 will be levied on students seen using them, and the mobile confiscated permanently.
Students of the institution, however, cannot reconcile themselves to the strictness and rigidity with which the rule is being implemented, and say that the rule has made matters difficult for them, as the mobile phone is a necessary tool of communication for them.
Pay in installments
The notice also mentions that the fines collected will be transferred into the National Service Scheme (NSS) account, and used for the welfare of the community. “One day. I was fined for holding my mobile in my hand. I was not even using it. And yet, the faculty members fined me. Not every body can afford to pay such a huge amount,” said a student.
Another student said that she was fined after being spotted with a mobile phone in her hand in the classroom. “I tried convincing the principal that I wasn’t using the mobile phone, but she refused to acknowledge it and fined me.”
Despite repeated attempts made by students to convince the authorities, the institute refuses to relax the rules. Some of the students have even paid the fine in installments. “We have tried to discuss the issue with the higher authorities, but our requests were not entertained,” said a student.
When contacted, Ashok Tagalpallewar, head of the Mechanical department as well as the dean of SIES Engineering, said, “We have some rules and regulations. I would not like to comment any further on the matter.” Naresh Chandra, the pro-vice chancellor of Mumbai University, said, “If the students complain to the university, we will look into the matter.”
The Notice reads...
All the students are hereby informed that usage of mobile phones is totally banned in the college premises/ classrooms/labs/corridors/library etc.
A fine of Rs 5000/- will be levied and the mobile confiscated permanently if a student is found with a mobile.... The fine so collected will be deposited in the NSS account and used for community welfare.