NEW DELHI: The new rule making it compulsory for girls staying in Jamia Millia Islamia hostels to obtain permission for late nights has not gone down well with a section of students who have termed it as "sexist" and "partial".
However, the varsity authorities claimed it was "in students' best interests" and the hostel administration will be accommodative if genuine needs arise. "Residents of the Hall of Girls are informed that no late night is allowed any more. You are, therefore, required to follow the norms, in your own best interests," stated a notice issued by the university.
Hitherto women residents of the hostels were allowed to stay out of the premises till 10pm twice a month when the usual deadline of 8 PM was not required to be followed. However, now girls who wish to stay out a little longer can do so only with the written permission from their local guardians.
"The rules of girls hostels at the university are sexist as there are no curfew hours for boys. If security is the reason for these strict rules for girls, then what about the security of boys?," a student said on the condition of anonymity.
Another student said, "We don't have many accommodation options in this area, so we are forced to take up the hostel accommodation despite their rules being impractical. Even if we go out for projects and other research related meetings, which could be in areas far off from here, how can we be necessarily back by 8 PM?"
University authorities claimed that the notice has not been "appropriately construed". "We have issued the notice in best interest of the girl students keeping in mind the security and safety concerns.
However, we do not wish to curtail anyone's freedom or basic rights. The message has not been appropriately construed," said Jamia Spokesperson Mukesh Ranjan.
"We are an educational institution which works towards enabling the students to pursue opportunities and options and not disable them. If there are genuine needs like that for projects or research work, the hostel administration will evaluate such requests," he added.
This is not the first time that the varsity's diktat has raised students' eyebrows. Earlier this year, four students were served notices by the varsity administration for putting up sanitary napkins
with written messages across the campus without seeking prior permission, as a part of their "sanitary pads" campaign against rape and sexism.