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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Plague of issues for engineering education in Chennai - Pagal Guy


23 October 2015


Today, Huffington Post reported that the IIT Madras management took down an article from their student blog, 'The Fifth Estate', before putting up a heavily edited version back online. The original blog, on depression and suicides at IITs, was heavily critical of the IIT system, which seems to have been toned down in the revised version.

This isn't the first brush that IIT Madras has had, between students and management, in 2015. Back in June, the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle, a student group primarily formed with Dalit members, was banned since someone felt that they were critical of the Narendra Modi government. After backlashes that targeted nearly everyone from the IIT Madras management onwards, to HRD Minister Smriti Irani & Modi himself, the ban was revoked with some supervision in place.

As a matter of fact, IITM isn't the only Chennai based institute that has faced backlash. Lately, Sri Sairam Engineering College, Chennai, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. First, an image that went viral listed a set of 14 rules for female students, rules that would have put the college back in colonial times, earning them massive hatred across social media. The college decried the list as fake, but a quick glance of existing rules on their own website proved that at least two rules were true.

If that weren't enough, early this month, ex-students of the college put up a video alleging physical torture, sexual abuse, and violence by the campus director. The severity of the allegations led students to protest, which led to Anna University initiating a probe and firing the campus director. The sexist and orthodox ideas of the management, though, continue.
It is quite surprising that such issues - highhanded attitudes, colonial rules, continue to plague a metropolis like Chennai in the 21st century. While these are only two examples of how colleges in Chennai are veering towards a student-management battle, it seems they are not the only ones. Are there similar battles going in in colleges in your city? Let us know in the comments.