The CUK surveillance project deserves trouble from the faculty, students
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KOCHI: The Central University of Kerala’s (CUK) move to install a network of surveillance cameras on campus at a cost of around 1 billion rupees has drawn the anger of faculties and students, who see this as an attack on the academic Consider freedom and privacy. The university teachers’ union has informed the Vice Chancellor in writing that installing video surveillance equipment in classrooms and laboratories is unethical and may cause mistrust among students and staff and may affect academic freedom.

However, CUK Pro Vice-Chancellor K Jayaprasad contested the claim that they are installing surveillance cameras in classrooms. “These cameras are not installed in classrooms. They are installed in vulenable locations such as main gates, laboratory entrances and corridors of main buildings and offices of legal representatives such as VC, PVC, financial officers and registrars,” added Jayaprasad began in 2018 after approval by the finance committee and was ratified by the university executive board. However, he said that UGC would like to install CCTV systems in classrooms to monitor the investigations, and this could happen in the future. Tenders were sent through the central public works department in December 2019, and the work will cost? 1.02.78.911. Around 150 cameras will be installed, according to Jayaprasad. “It is a large campus that is expanding and it is not an easy task to secure it,” he said. This is done on the advice of the Union’s Ministry of Personnel Development (MHRD) and agencies such as the Intelligence Bureau, said Jayaprasad. The work was delayed due to the pandemic situation.

“The academic council has nothing to do with it, and when someone says it, it’s due to ignorance. Most of the country’s higher education institutions, including IITs and IIMS, have such security systems in place,” he said. Jayaprasad said he was one of the first to install video surveillance in his office as a tax official, and the main reason was fear of false sexual harassment allegations.

“This directly affects the academic atmosphere of the university, but the academic advice has not been consulted. The various HoDs and deans who have academic leadership at universities have not been informed. There would be no spontaneity in the interactions between students and Give teachers. ” said a faculty that fears that this could lead to moral policing, stalking and voyeurism among vulnerable female and male faculties.

The university’s student council also plans to write to the university authorities against the decision, believing that this would lead to moral police incidents. “The university has had several such incidents in the past and this would be used to address students,” said a student leader who refused to be identified. They also believe that the university’s priorities are not right because the laboratories, many of which are underfunded, do not have air conditioning. There is no crèche or decent playground on campus.

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