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Endless debate

The debate on the ban on the use of mobile phones and the imposition of a dress code in the Anna University seems endless. It is unlikely that there will ever be a meeting point between those who support the move and those who oppose it. Instead of prolonging the debate, pragmatic suggestions on how to inculcate the spirit of responsibility and develop self-discipline in students should be discussed.

U. Muralikrishna,
Visakhapatnam, A.P.

No doubt misuse of cell phones and improper dressing among students are on the rise. But nothing can be achieved by force. Restrictions will accentuate the problem. University authorities should have campaigned against misuse of mobile phones and impressed upon the students the need to adopt a proper dress code. They should have been encouraged to make sensible decisions on their own.

S. Parthasarathy,

It is amusing to find people reacting so seriously to the dress code, with some arguing that T-shirts, jeans, sleeveless tops and tight-fitting clothes distract those who come to college for serious study. I am a student of a private engineering college and I couldn't care less or afford to get distracted by something as trivial as a T-shirt. By imposing the code, the Anna University has only brought humiliation upon itself and its affiliated colleges for it has openly declared that its management and students are not there to impart/pursue serious education.

V. Sathyanarayan,

The old as well as the young resist abrupt changes even if they are for the better. Why can university/college authorities not announce regulations and stipulations regarding a dress code in their prospectus? Students will have the choice to say no to such colleges.

Thomas Mathew,
Erode, T.N.

What does the Anna University propose to achieve by imposing such medieval diktats in a technologically advanced era? Does it want to send the message that in an advanced institute of technology, technological innovations are not welcome?

An institute is meant to impart higher ideals and values. But what healthy ideals can be inculcated in the young minds by fining them for talking to the members of the opposite sex, a practice adopted by some private colleges? If by adopting such measures, the authorities expect to bring discipline on campus they are fooling themselves.

Shitanshushekhar Satyamurty,
Jalandhar, Punjab

While it makes sense to ban cell phones in the campus, the puritanical attitude of the authorities in imposing a dress code is unfortunate. Had the students been advised forbearance instead, the move would have been more effective and it would not have given rise to such resentment. Students cannot be forced to follow the code because the forbidden fruit is always more tasty.

Antony Vimal Venmani,

If the authorities seek to enforce the code by dictatorial methods, the aggrieved student may seek judicial remedy. And the code is unlikely to pass judicial scrutiny. A better option for the authorities would have been to invite parents, evolve a consensus and leave it to them to ensure that their wards followed the guidelines. Parents should have also been made to understand that the institution would not accept blame for any incident arising due to non-conformity.

N. Veerappan,
Cuddalore, T.N.

The Anna University could have adopted a more democratic method. It could have taken the opinion of students, had a debate on the issue in the presence of women from various organisations, and invited prominent persons to speak on the significance of traditional Indian attire.

The sudden unilateral move of imposing a code, however well-meaning, will not go down well with the student fraternity.

Suresh Manoharan,

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