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Varsity security set to go hi-tech

The University of Pune (UoP), to strengthen vigil in and around its 410-acre campus to prevent any kind of security threat, is all set to go hi-tech. The move was initiated after the recent killing of a security guard near the varsity’s main gate on May 3.

The UoP’s security department recently submitted a proposal to the administration, which includes a totally automated approach towards strengthening campus security. If the submitted proposal is accepted, then not a single visitor will be allowed to enter the campus without being given a valid visitor’s card. And once their work is over, visitors will have to submit their cards at the specific gate through which they had entered the campus.  At present, the security department is busy compiling data of students, teaching and non-teaching staff on the UoP campus. 


Set to change: Security men ask visitors and students to flash their identity cards at one of the gates of the University of Pune. New steps now proposed aim to up security with technology. File Pic

“Currently, we try to check each and every visitor by cataloguing him or her. But this is certainly not enough. We need a foolproof system in which students and staffers do not get affected, but at the same time all the visitors are checked and their purpose of visit is known,” UoP security officer M S Kedari said. “We are trying to compile electronic data of the staffers. Once our proposal gets a final nod, we are expecting to get a computerised back-up of this information. We have decided to issue different cards to visitors so that security personnel can easily identify them.”

Paradigm shift
UoP registrar Dr M L Jadhav said the overall security of the university will witness a paradigm shift in the coming days.  “We have decided to make visitor’s card compulsory for outsiders. To keep an eye on the 410-acre campus, the vice chancellor and the registrar of the UoP will have direct access of live CCTV footage. We also have plans to establish a separate control room to analyse the CCTV footage,” Dr Jadhav said.

Trigger for new idea
Security guard Pralhad Jogdand was shot dead by an unidentified youth on May 3. The incident marked a turning point for security planning at the university.  Jogdand was doing routine patrolling when he spotted a couple in a compromising position in the garden opposite the women’s hostel. As Jogdand approached them, the man shot him and fled with the girl on his motorcycle. Later, it was revealed that the CCTV cameras installed at the main gate were not in working condition when this incident occurred. Taking note of this serious security lapse, the university installed 70 CCTV cameras covering all the entrances to the campus and important departments. 

How the proposed system will work
The university has three major entry gates and dozens of institutions, including national labs, a school and government offices on the premises. Besides the staff, nearly 5,000 people visit the campus daily. To keep an eye on visitor movement, the security department plans to issue visitor cards of different colours to people entering the campus from different gates. Visitors will have to return their cards at the same gate they used to enter the university.   

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