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The institute has started imposing a fine of Rs. 200 if a student fails to produce his/her ID card at any institute entry gate while trying to enter the campus. This comes as a change from the previous policy wherein the students were usually just given a warning and let off in most cases, or in some cases the security office asked the roll number and verified it with their photo in the system. The latter was usually done at night.

We reached out to the Dean of Student Affairs, Prof. Soumyo Mukherji, to understand the rationale behind the changed policy.

Apart from the obvious reason that only students, faculty and authorised persons enter the institute premises, there are also other reasons why the rule of carrying the ID card is enforced on the students. The Dean said that some students do not carry any identification on them when they leave the campus. If they meet with an untoward incident, there would be no way for the police or anyone nearby to identify the person involved. Apart from identification the ID card provides vital details like the age, contact number and blood group of the holder apart from the institute contact numbers. If informed, the institute can initiate a cycle of helpful measures, including informing the parents of the student.

Despite repeated attempts by the administration to enforce a compulsory possession of ID cards, there were still many cases of students forgetting this, which is why the fine was introduced according to the Dean. The money collected through these fines will be used for miscellaneous purposes, like funding of the Student Wellness Center (counselling care center).

However, the Dean admitted that there are still a few flaws in the system. A student, who has forgotten his/her ID card can tell the guard someone else’s roll number to note down in the register and escape the fine. To tackle this the Dean said that verification of the student against his/her photo in the security office system will be done. This system is currently in place but it is, in current practice, left to the whims of the guards who choose to randomly enforce it at times, usually in the night.