On request from the Chennai Police, colleges in and around the city are busy compiling contact details of their outstation students who do not stay in college hostels.

Police sources say this information is only for ready reference during an emergency. College heads said while last year the police had merely asked them to collect information, this time they are insistent that the data should be given to them.

Some city colleges have been asked to submit the data in a month, while those in the suburbs have been given more time.

“We are used to it. Even during functions with the Governor or a Minister, the police insist that we provide information about all student volunteers in charge of welcoming the chief guest,” said a senior professor of a city college.

Recently, the city police began issuing tenant information forms to house owners for creating a database on tenants.

Arjun Verma from Bihar, a student of Bharath University, Selaiyur, said he had been asked to provide his photograph and details about his parents, phone numbers and accommodation attested by his house owner. N. Sethuraman, Registrar, SRM University, said, “At least 2,000 of our students live outside the college campus. We want to be ready with the data to cooperate with the police whenever the need arises.”

Request from HRD Ministry

Police officials claim the request to compile the database has come from the Human Resources Development Ministry, which last year had sent a letter to the State Education Department asking officials to prepare a list of students hailing from other States.