IIT professor seizes laptop from student for gaming past midnight

Oct 04, 2013, 00:12 IST | Varun Singh

The powers that be at IIT Bombay could give kindergarten teachers a run for their money. When a student was recently caught playing online games after midnight by a professor of the institution, he seized the laptop.

He also asked the student to get a letter signed from his parents saying that he would never repeat his ‘behaviour.’ Outraged by such an infringement upon their personal freedom, the students have now taken to their in-house magazine to express their angst.

Representation Pic

Midnight raid
On September 30 around 12.45 am, the college administration conducted a surprise check in hostel H-4, to find a third year undergraduate playing on his laptop.

A screen shot of the article ‘Dude where’s my laptop’ published in the inhouse magazine Insight

The administration found that the student was using the internal Internet (LAN) service to play online games. This didn’t go down well with the professor, who immediately confiscated the laptop and told the student to get a letter from his parents if he wanted the laptop back.

The student and some of his friends later went to meet professor Ashish Juneja, who had confiscated the laptop, and asked for the exact reason behind the confiscation.

Angst in words
In an article published in their magazine Insight titled ‘Dude, where’s my laptop’ the student writer says: ‘Prof Juneja stated that studying is the primary reason for any student to be present on campus. While he isn’t particularly worried about gaming, it is his opinion that curbing the practice is essential if and when it begins to interfere with one’s academics. According to him, gaming at an hour that late is bound to hamper one’s powers of concentration during morning lectures, if not the ability to attend them’.

The article gives vent to the students’ anger against this kind of penalty.

The writer goes on to say: ‘It is the opinion of the authors that students (most of them being adults) should be allowed to make their own lifestyle choices, as long as they abide by all the rules laid down by the institute and by the Indian Constitution.”

Meanwhile, students claim that they have the right to live freely, since online gaming is not outlawed in the county. They have also expressed outrage at having to fetch letters from their parents.

The Other Side
When MiD DAY contacted Professor Juneja for a comment, he said, “There’s no hard and fast rule that students can’t play using LAN, but then at such odd hours it would affect them. I am not against online gaming, even my son plays and I don’t stop him. I involved the parents because with every case, there’s need for a different perspective. Not every time would a monetary fine serve the purpose. By being awake so late, the students would miss their morning lectures.” Another faculty member for the institution said, “Many students don’t go for lunch. If you see the mess, it’s half occupied in the morning for breakfast. It’s a matter of concern for us.” 

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