MUMBAI:Authorities at the elite Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai have restricted Internet access in its hostels, saying addiction to surfing, gaming and blogging was affecting students’ performance, making them reclusive and even suicidal. Other IITs are considering a similar curb.
Students had stopped socializing and many were late for morning classes or slept through them, they said. “Now, a student doesn’t know who lives two doors away as he is busy on the Net,” said Prakash Gopalan, dean of student affairs. “The old hostel culture of camaraderie is gone.”
The exacting curriculum, tough competition and a reclusive campus lifestyle have taken a toll on the students. Depression and dysfunctional lifestyles are common among IIT students, and at least nine have committed suicide in the past five years. IIT–Mumbai has seen two suicides in two years and several attempts.
Students have unlimited free Internet access in their hostel rooms to help them with their studies. Starting Monday, Internet access will be barred after 11pm.
The move has not gone down well with students who say they hate their lives being regulated. Student anger has also spilled on to several blogs run by IIT alumni.