Kaps had posted about the happenings at SRM yesterday. The issue seems to have spread to other colleges as well. Just a few minutes ago, I received an email from my sister who is in another college notorious for its segregatory practices between the sexes. Here is what she had to say.
.... learnt how a strike would look like....! Jokes apart, day was bad....really bad. Went to coll as usual at 7.30 had brkfast n all. We were asked to go to the library. There is a seminar hall in there where we were asked to wait. So after we got in we really dint know what was happening outside. Till 8.00 everything was ok.
At 8.30 a staff came in and asked us to leave the library. We dint know why. We came out. The next thing we knew was a huge group of student... must be about 100 odd, were screaming in front of the administrative block...that big long block na that one. Some staff came n asked the girls to go to the hostel. So we went. We dint have a clue as to what the probe was. We went to the hostel. That’s where we came to know it was some problem with aicte n crap.next thing we knew the hostel was locked from outside!!!! Safety apparently!!! It was 9.00...all the girls were in the hostel by then. I mean the entire coll girls crowd. So we were in there till about 11.30...then around that time we had to walk backside to the bus stand where there was a single bus to st.josephs. Felt like some refugee escaping from terrorists or something. They dropped us in st.josephs. From st.josephs back side we had to walk to jeppiar engg coll!!! There is no road connecting st.josephs n jeppiar engg coll. so we have to walk. Imagine... easily 1 or 2 kms in the open land! Buses were there in jeppiar engg coll...We left the place around 12.15 or so. Didn’t pass thru our entrance coz of road block n stuff. Went thru Hindustan. kelambakkam....vandalur n all!!!! N reached home only at 2.45 or so!!!!! It seems comp n stuff n all were broken inside...don’t know if it’s true n all. Coll is closed indefinitely....don’t know what's going to happen n whether if courses are recognized or not. Training cancelled too I guess. On the whole one horrible day!!!!!!!
Incidentally, my sister will be working for an IT major when she graduates in June and today was her first day of training (in-house in her college). I can imagine the hardship she had to endure on a day like this. When I told her that the incident she mentioned about "comp n stuff n all were broken inside" was actually at SRM, she said that similar things happened at her college too, but the press has not been allowed inside so far. Some students were anonymously interviewed on Sun TV outside the college gate. The students were saying things like "they are cheating us by running courses without approval" and "They will give us a B.S degree. What is the difference between an arts college student and us now?"
Is this a case of the mob mentality taking over and I am not talking only about the students here. Was the destruction of property at SRM's campus the handiwork of the management as the students claim? And did the management in my sister's college do the same thing?
In any case the students have to be informed (though I might have felt the same way when I was in college) that it is only some countries that follow the British system, that have separate degrees awarded for sciences and engineering. In most countries, like the US, the degree is a B.S (the equivalent of the B.Sc) regardless of whether the major is biology or bio-medical engineering. In fact most students take the some common courses (with the same syllabus that is) in the same classroom, regardless of their stream of study is. So you will see a biology student and an electrical engineering student in the same math class, if the biology student's academic advisor feels that the class will help him/her. So, IMHO, the nomenclature does not matter. However, if you had asked me the same question six years ago, I'd have felt the same level of indignation.
Another thing is that I was also under the impression that the problem is stream specific, i.e. certain new courses in these colleges are the only ones under scrutiny. But my sister's version (and the reaction of the striking students) indicates that whole institutions are under the microscope. Could someone clarify this?
In fact the best place to clarify this SHOULD be the AICTE's website. But does the AICTE have a website at all? My sister sent me a link to the AICTE web site that seems to link to a list of accredited institutions. But the list is on a word document which contains links to other lists (state-wise). And get this, the links all point to documents on someone's desktop! So these students, in spite of all the claims of all information being available freely, don't exactly have the info they need, i.e., whether their colleges have the necessary authorizations. So, now that we know the AICTE has a half-functioning website, does they have a webmaster?