Fight for privacy: UoH students say no to more CCTV cameras on campus

University admin plays the issue down saying the proposal has been pending for long.

Published: 12th January 2018 04:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th January 2018 08:01 AM   |  A+A-

University of Hyderabad (File | PTI)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The University of Hyderabad’s recent decision to install more CCTV cameras at hostels and open places on the campus has not gone down well with the student community. While the administration has cited “security reasons” for the move, students claim it is an attempt to put them under surveillance and will restrict their mobility on the campus.

Columns of smoke rising from
UoH dump yard in Hyderabad
on Thursday | Express

Currently, the administrative building, the shopping complex, a canteen, and all entry and exit points are monitored with cameras. These, students claim are enough to cater to the security on the campus. However, sources said that the administration had reasoned that the decision was taken in view of the theft of bikes and cycle from the stand.

Meanwhile, the Students Union has submitted a representation to the dean of Students’ Welfare, expressing their displeasure over the move. “The student community views this surveillance as an act of infringement on the mobility of the students inside the campus and we strongly condemn this installation,” read the representation. Arif Ahmmed, general secretary, Students Union said the very idea of having cameras around was intimidating for students in a democratic space like university. “Installing cameras in the public spaces and hostels is not acceptable. We have managed to stall the process for now,” he said.

Though the installation of the cameras has been put on the back burner by the varsity, students are not too pleased. “This is another act of muzzling our freedom otherwise why would you need CCTVs inside hostels? Our movement has been restricted with cameras in several areas like at shopcoms and administrative building,” said student Ankita Sharma.

The university administration has, however, downplayed the issue and said that the proposal is part of the ongoing security measures. “It has been pending for several years now but there is no active consideration,” said UoH spokesperson Dr Vinod Pavarala. It may be recalled that in July 2016, in the aftermath of the Rohith Vemula Movement, UoH administration’s installation of cameras had received widespread flak from the students.

Report on reforms in varsities submitted
Hyderabad : Telangana State Council of Higher Education (TSCHE) chairman T Papi Reddy met governor ESL Narasimhan at the Raj Bhavan on Thursday and submitted a report on the status of reforms being implemented in the universities in the state. TSCHE vice-chairmen R Limbadri and V Venkata Ramana, and secretary N Srinivasa Rao were also present. Papi Reddy apprised the governor, who is also the chancellor of state universities, of the council’s decision to conduct  the seven Common Entrance Tests (except PGCET for Physical Education) online.

Fire breaks out at UoH dump yard

Hyderabad: A large portion of the dump yard located in University of Hyderabad caught fire on Thursday. The fire was reported around 6pm and one of the students posted pictures of it on social media. At first, the university’s security department officials tried to douse the flame. However, they failed to contain it due to lack of water. Also, there was a safety risk involved in the exercise. By 7 pm, two fire engines rushed to the spot. Matters were made worse by lab equipment, made of glass, that were dumped along with garbage indicating the campus lacked waste segregation system.

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