Students move Kerala High Court over timing of entry into women’s hostel; details here
Pubnews: Students move Kerala High Court over timing of entry into women’s hostel; details here. Female students at a college located in Kothamangalam, Kerala, have lodged a complaint in the Kerala High Court, asserting claims of gender-based discrimination and violation of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. The matter pertains to 33 engineering students from Mar Athanasius College in Kothamangalam who have formally registered a grievance with the Kerala High Court, citing instances of prejudiced scheduling practices within the women’s hostel.
The students’ submission alleges that the college administration has implemented a distinct entry time of 6:30 pm specifically for female students. They contend that this designated time frame lacks justification and surpasses the reasonable authority of the college. The students contend that this alteration in entrance timings contradicts government directives, a contention substantiated by the provided report. Furthermore, they underscore the asymmetry as male students are permitted entry into the men’s hostels until 9 pm.
The students are additionally urging the court to mandate a curfew of 9:30 pm within the college, claiming that such a ruling aligns better with their rights and guarantees parity. Although the Kerala government had formerly issued a mandate in 2019, stipulating that women’s hostels in state-affiliated colleges should adhere to a 6:30 pm entrance time, it also stipulated that facilities such as laboratories, workshops, libraries, research centers, and sports amenities should be accessible until 9:30 pm, granting all students unrestricted access.
The students’ plea posits that the imposition of these restrictions by the college, masquerading as measures to maintain discipline, negatively impacts students’ freedom of movement within and outside the campus. The plea has been officially submitted through legal representatives Ashwathy Krishnan, V Harish, Rajan Vishnuraj, and AL Navaneetha Krishnan, as reported by The News Minute.
A single-judge bench presided by Justice Basant Balaji, on August 11, amalgamated this case with other related matters and scheduled it for a hearing on August 18. The legal counsel representing the college had requested additional time to formulate a response.
On a divergent note, a separate development indicates that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has recently conferred autonomous status upon Mar Athanasius College of Engineering in Kothamangalam for a ten-year period, commencing from the academic year 2023-2024. This recognition, bestowed in July, marks the second instance of a government-aided engineering institution acquiring autonomous status in the state. According to reports, the autonomy bestowed by the UGC is anticipated to empower the college to shape its curriculum and bolster its future prospects by facilitating growth.