The 1,200 part-time students of the School of Open Learning (SOL) in Miranda house have now been asked not to "model" in the corridors, take selfies or even comb their hair while inside college premises because the college deemed all of these "a waste of time".
The Indian Express quoted an unsigned notice in Hindi as saying, "Miranda House College and its teachers are always fighting to ensure your higher education. We hope that women students benefit from this opportunity and focus on academics. Many women have been seen taking selfies, combing their hair and modelling in the gallery. This is mis-utilisation of time. The college does not give permission for this. If any student is found mis-utilising their time, they will be suspended from the classes held on that particular day, and will be made to leave the college premises."
SOL students are part-time students who attend classes on Sundays and government holidays. And some of them have complained of discrimination, saying that they are being targeted for being from not so well-to-do backgrounds.
"We anyway don't have proper facilities. And now such rules being imposed on us. This is discrimination as many of us come from lower middle class families," a second year student told The Hindustan Times.
The Krantikari Yuva Sanghatan (KYS), a communist students' group in the SOL has said that they would approach the Delhi Commission for Women over the issues faced by SOL students.
Another BA student who is from an East Delhi slum told The Telegraph, "We have classes from 9.30 to 2.30 in classrooms with more than 150 students. If we wander into the lawns for a break, we are told to get inside. Miranda House guards even come and check the toilets to see what we are up to. Is there any reason to prohibit only SOL students from taking selfies?"
However principal of the college Pratibha Jolly denied allegations of moral policing. "Students perch dangerously on parapet walls to take selfies. They were gently advised by staff to focus on attending classes. The college has been working towards empowering SOL students and is keen to provide them the best learning and skill enhancement opportunities," she told The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, she was quoted by The Telegraph as saying, "This is the most progressive college, with western dance and performing arts practice that go on till 8:30 pm, without anyone objecting. The notice was put out only because things are going out of hand."