(N. Gayathri, Hyderabad)

The word is a shortened form of ‘procurator’ and its meaning varies depending on which side of the Atlantic you are from. In the U.S, the term is used to refer to someone who administers tests – he is what we in India call an ‘invigilator’. His job is to hand out the tests, inform students when to begin and stop, and ensure that there is no cheating. In England, a ‘proctor’ is someone who is appointed by the university and his job is to ensure that students at the undergraduate level maintain discipline and behave in a manner that does not bring the university into disrepute. He handles formal complaints by and against students, looks into accusations of cheating, ragging (hazing, as they call it), etc. In addition to this, he is present at all university functions.