Denying the allegation that MHRD wants to monitor college students’ social media accounts, secretary R Subrahmanyam informed that the said order is not compulsory. Earlier, MHRD had issued an order to colleges asking them to collect the details of the social media accounts of the students.
The ministry said that it asked for students’ accounts to be connected to those of their colleges for the sharing of “best practices”, ThePrint reported on Tuesday.
The circular issued on July 3rd had asked all higher educational institutions to name a faculty member to be their “social media champion”. This apparently was intended to connect the institutions with each other and with the ministry to help them share their achievements through social media.
“This step is only for sharing the good news,” Subrahmanyam told ThePrint. “Anyone who understands how social media works would know that sharing of Twitter handles would not enable accessing the accounts. This is elementary knowledge.”
Subrahmanyam also said it was not compulsory for students to share posts or follow the institutions’ accounts. “It is only to share good practices by the institutes and motivate each other by best performances,” the secretary was quoted as saying.
Abha Dev Habib, an assistant professor at Miranda House, told News18, “We have the websites and other ways to show positive work. Why use the informal spaces? Tomorrow I can be questioned on having certain political views or for criticising the government.”
Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Ayesha Kidwai told The Quint, “This is ridiculous, and it is a clear attempt by the government at implementing surveillance on even the personal spaces of students.”