Going out for dinner. Celebrating the end of a stressful exam with your friends at DLF. Or just getting a passport size photo for an application. All these are now nostalgic memories for the first-year students as the Chair of the Council of Wardens (Chair COW) has issued a notice saying that all first-years should return to campus by 7 pm, and for students wanting to go out of campus beyond the curfew, they need written permission from the hostel manager. With classes and labs continuing till 5 pm on most days of the week, after which students have PT on every alternate day, the decision made by the administration essentially establishes that first-year students will not be able to go out as a group except for Sundays.
Historically, other than during the outlying pandemic period, IIIT has had no curfew for students to go in and outside the campus. Previously, authority figures, such as the former Dean of Academics, have been against the imposition of a curfew that curbs the freedom of students. The Students Parliament and the Apex Council have been trying to appeal the decision by approaching those against the curfew.
For a college that provides very few amenities beyond 6 pm, this decision poses issues of different kinds for the freshers. While the informal and “fun” events like birthday parties and celebratory dinners are now disallowed, first-year students need to break their backs to get a simple printout. This decision also raises some questions regarding the level of supervision that parents should be allowed to exercise over their children in college.
The decision seems to have been taken in response to rising pressure from the parent community of the first-year students. The disapproval of a group of parents, a constant with every incoming batch but never this disruptive, reached its uproarious peak in the recent times
While calls for curfew and restrictions by parent groups are not new, the IIIT administration responding with such a drastic decision is certainly surprising. We can only wait and see how this decision impacts the first-year students, and how they adapt to it.