Mumbai: The Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) Bombay has installed CCTV surveillance cameras within the hostel corridors without taking the consent of the students alleged the Ambedkar, Periyar, Phule Study Circle(APPSC), a student group at IIT Bombay.
'The introduction of these two mechanisms without the consent of students is very problematic as they violate the fundamental privacy rights of the students and are intended for surveillance. Such surveillance measures on students in an utterly undemocratic fashion need to be resisted at all costs,' read a statement released by the APPSC.
No clarity on surveillance mandates
While traveling to or from the bathroom, students have to take a long walk down the corridor. "We are unsure who would be watching this footage or where would it be stored," expressed a student who informed that the CCTV cameras have only been installed in corridors of one boys' hostel of the total 16 functional student hostels on the IITs.
Drawing a parallel, the student group said that installing CCTV cameras in hostel corridors is like having cameras in one's living room. The letter drafted by APPSC goes on to question the cost effectiveness of this move as well.
Secretary consulted, not students
"The administration in response to a student email explained that the general secretary of the concerned hostel has consented to the installation of CCTVs in the corridors. But the students were not privy to this," said the student while talking to The Free Press Journal.
The group has also red-flagged the new 'I-mess system' at the IIT where a student's ID card has to be linked with the mess facilities at the hostels within the instituite. The system is capable of keeping a track of all the times a student has entered a college mess.
IIT Bombay is yet to respond to the queries made by FPJ. This is a developing story.
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