Safe inside the Security of Illusion - Addressing The Security Changes
Wakanda, one of the world’s best-kept secrets has been so because of its superlative security protocols and policies in place. Being an institute of national importance with equipment worth millions and harbouring around 8000 people, such levels of security are expected as the bare minimum, but there seems to be a huge lapse in the level of expectation and reality. Wakanda’s security is the stuff of the future while we in NITR seem to live in the past with the most advancement in technology being used belonging to the last generation.
One similarity between the two is that the security forces are present all the time, but the sad part is that a Thanos level intelligence is required to breach Wakanda whereas anyone has the potential to become Thanos in the case of NITR.
According to the Officer on Special Duty, Suman Dutta:
The number of security personnel on duty was earlier 185 which was reduced to 130 in march due to the lack of security funds. This is going to reduce further due to the same reason. Also, no new security policy has been implemented this semester.
As the scenario of CCTV cameras in the institute is pitiable, when this issue was raised, the answer was that a committee headed by Prof. Pankaj Shah has moved a proposal to the director for installing more cameras that can be expected to complete in about 15 days. In addition, a committee headed by Prof. KK Mahapatra is working on hiring a full-time technician to monitor the real-time surveillance footage. Regarding improvement in road safety, no drastic steps have been taken although some suggestions such as extra speed breakers have been submitted to the director.
Talking about the closing of gates to the academic area (LA and Mangala Mandir Gate) and the troubles faced by the students because of this, the reply was that they are ‘looking into’ it and hope to solve this issue as soon as possible, stating the reason behind this as to compensate the reduced number of security guards. When asked about the extra measures taken for fire safety since the last fire which destroyed many precious files, we found out that around 250 extra fire extinguishers have been installed just in the academic area bringing the total to around 500. Coming to the hostels, all the fire equipment is being managed by the Hostel Management Council (HMC). Any plans of implementing an in house fire station even after many fire accidents are not in the picture.
Unsafe and secure:
Just like Hydra infiltrated something as fortified as S.H.I.E.L.D, NITR has been compromised many times, sometimes risking the students’ possessions and life. There have been many such instances where the lack of security has posed a threat to our safety.
Grave issues like theft and molestation have marred the campus on countless occasions. Some of the confessions are below:
My things were stolen in the hostel. I told the caretaker but there’s not much they can do as they’re helpless. The caretaker told me that there are no cameras in the hostels. The issue lies with the students and they should restrain themselves from such deplorable activities.
I was walking along around the faculty residential areas, along the hillside road. I don’t want to go into details but I was harassed and it was awful. I’m pretty sure it was an outsider and not a student. I also saw someone masturbating behind in the dispensary road during end-sems. I freaked out a lot and questioned myself if I should ever head out to walk alone.
THE 7 PM RULE:
This states that LA will be locked down after 7 pm every day and will be non-functional due to the lack of funds in security.
Prof. Rohan Dhiman (PIC Security) had the following to say about it:
It just wasn’t feasible to keep the gate open with such a less number of security guards. There was 24*7 security with A, B and C shift. Earlier, the keys were with the 3 security guards but since now they’re removed, LA can’t be operationalised. Only the care-takers can issue the keys and give it back.
This issue was addressed by U.C Pati of Training and Placement, as they needed rooms in LA for conduction of various online tests associated with placements. There are guards available but they remain in off-shifts. The TnP can have security guards as and when they require. Team Monday Morning expressed the concerns of various clubs regarding the issue and highlighted how the regular club activities have been affected considerably. Prof. Rohan Dhiman responded:
I acknowledge the issues but we are ready to deploy extra guards who have off-shifts after 7 PM. But the security guards have to be paid accordingly. The clubs can collectively request SAC raising the same concerns and the extra fund for the payments of these guards can come from SAC Budget.
Cyborg holds ‘Create classes’ for robotic enthusiasts in LA. Being a technical institute, it should be the top tier priority to promote and support any bid for technological advancement.
The 7 pm LA rule is obviously a problem for us. We have to accommodate an approximate strength of around 150 students. Regular classes get over by 5: 15, we are left with only 1.5 hrs even if we start the class at 5. 30. One and a half hours isnt enough for us to complete the topics that we decided. That too LA would be closed during the weekends. We used to dedicate around 6 hrs a week previously....which doesn't seem to happen now. The conditions include that the security gaurd would be leaving LA at 7.Whatever happens in LA is then the responsibility of the clubs and people present.
Making the clubs go through this tedious process of getting approval for SAC is very taxing and doesn’t help when they need to arrange spur-of-the-moment meetings. It has led to mismanagement and has caused hindrance in the smooth running of club-culture. The same rules might be applied for SAC as well in the near future, which will result in more conundrums.
The security breach in construction sites:
The rise in the number of construction sites has led to a surge of ‘tourism and adventure sports’ on the campus. It has become an unsafe running ground for night-outs and a breeding ground for more accidents to occur. But it all comes down to whose fault is this: Is it because of their irresponsible behaviour or the lack of security measures there or do the roots go somewhere as deep as the years of suppressed freedom of NITR junta that they resort to such tactics?
Regarding the unprotected construction sites of LA 2 and New Mechanical Department, the OSD transferred all the responsibility to the construction contractor undertaking these constructions including the manning of the LA 2 gate.
Get up, Cinderella. It’s 7:30.
The KMS Hall of residence houses purely students of B.Tech first and second-year students, including some students pursuing their masters and: PhD degrees. For the first year B.Tech students, the late entry timing is 7:30 pm and 11 pm for everyone else. On asking why this change was made from the uniform late entry timing of 11 pm for everyone last year, the response was that the first-year students hail from different backgrounds, are new to this environment and need time to adjust to this place. Hence, this change was made keeping in mind the safety of the fresher students.
However the boarders of KMS beg to differ, some of the opinions of freshers are as follows:
The juniors’ block is locked in the night ‘to curb ragging, but is expendable in a sense that the keys are with the security itself so that the gate can be opened in cases of emergency’.
However, contradicting their own words, due to the unavailability of sufficient rooms in the B-block meant for first-year girls, the freshers are accommodated in the C and D blocks along with seniors. Aren’t the officials contradicting their theories themselves? KMS is not the only girl’s hostel to accommodate juniors and seniors under one roof. CVR has also followed suit and was initially housing around 30-40 girls in the CVR dormitories.
An extra caretaker had been allotted a few days back for additional security in the hostel premises. In addition, no events regarding security breaches have been reported and also according to the warden, ‘the students love to stay in KMS’.
Although there is much congestion in the hall with more people occupying the room than what it was meant for, there are no plans on building new halls of residence for the girls.
As mentioned by the Chief Warden in the previous year, no monetary impositions will be there for late entries. Only under the circumstances of property damage, misbehaviour and physical harm to any other individual of the Institute will an ISDC be necessary. However, according to an email on August 1, it was again mentioned that fines will be imposed and ISDC reports made.
Prof. Poonam Singh (CVR Warden) has the following views about it:
There are no detailed clauses for late entries written down on paper but if they go against the rules repeatedly, they’ll be punished. We can inform the parents and put a fine or refer to ISDC. The punishments haven’t been exactly decided. Although ragging is a serious concern, they have been placed there as we only have two hostels. Three or four girls were found drunk, sleeping on the road, so we had to send the mail as a warning. This is the institute rule and these girls don’t want to obey the rules so they might feel terrorised by the rules but it’s for their safety. Every institute has rules and you need to follow them.
Recently, a few officials went on patrolling around for ensuring the safety of students, late at night. There have been instances where students while hanging out with friends without any objectionable conditions before 11 PM have been victims of moral policing by the security guards.
On being asked about the patrolling, Prof. Rohan Dhiman (PIC of Security) had the following to say:
Whenever the guards used to go on security checks, the students don’t cooperate. Last week, some people broke open the locks of Hanuman Temple to steal money. Last week, I was on the road with the Dean and I’ve been pushing for more elaborate rules to enforce the law. These raids serve the purpose to find the ‘law-breakers’ like people beyond their in-time and doing questionable things. We aim to reduce the substance abuse in any form and also expect the students to be abide by the late entry rules.
Prof. SK Patel, Dean (Student Welfare) on the same issue responds:
Our motive was to keep the students in check so that they fulfill their duties. Parents have sent their children here to study.
Here is a glimpse of Hostel rules being followed at IIT Kanpur:
Are we making more rules for moral policing under the garb of safety? Are these rules healthy enough to let the students exercise their freedom and respect their privacy? A serious introspection might be required to change the orthodox mindset of an otherwise institute of National reputation.