Facebook the cherished horizon for today’s youth has suddenly become a nightmare for 57 students of National Institute of Technology (NIT). In a shocking disclosure, Firstpost has reported a story where a disciplinary panel of the NIT has proposed to suspend 57 students for six months over a comment on Facebook against a girls’ hostel superintendent.

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The entire episode has taken place because of a Facebook activity against the hostel superintendent. Speaking on anonymity, one of the parent shared that one of the student had posted a content on Facebook which compared the superintendent with the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. The rest of the students had supported this gesture on Facebook.

In retaliation, a seven-member disciplinary committee headed by R.S. Panua was set up. Panua also happens to be the dean of students’ welfare at the NIT, Agartala. Along with the six months suspension, the committee has suggested to suspend the students from the hostel for one year.

The actions drawn by the committee has led to some criticism from the parents of the students since the punishment is going to affect the students future. Majority of the suspended students are girls, some of them are in the final semester and some of them have even got placement via the campus recruitment.

Considering the activity performed, the punishment is bizarre. This clearly points to the fact that the faculty at NIT has failed to understand the medium, and which also leads us to a pertinent concern about the need for social media guidelines in place, whether it be working places or educational institutions.

Nam-calling teachers and authority has always been a fun activity and I am sure we all have indulged in this at some time. I fail to understand how calling someone Hitler can lead to a severe punishment like this that can ruin the careers of students. The matter has been brought in to the notice of the Tripura government and the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). Hopefully, some sane minds would understand the issue and let go the matter with a warning.

Incidents like this won’t stop if institutes don’t evolve with time. Having a presence on social media is not enough but understanding and preparing for unprecedented activities is also required. Similarly students need to be made aware of the pitfalls of the medium and like other guidelines it needs to be in place too. Would you not agree on this thought?

Image courtesy: Bloomberg, indiacollegesearch.com