The guidelines issued by Ministry of Education on 15 January, mandates approval from authorities to conduct online events on ‘sensitive matters’.
The memorandum, published in consultation with Ministry of External Affairs, declared surveillance at online meetings.
“The new measures stifle free engagement of academia,” says Mohammad Nihad, a student of Sociology at University of Hyderabad.
“The guidelines will hamper the advantages of online seminars to host international scholars.”
The guidelines also ask public funded universities, Central educational institutions, and State controlled/ owned institutions to seek approval from adminstrative secretary to host online seminars and workshops.
Links to such events must be send to government email, according to the memorandum.
Since the lockdown last year due to coronavirus pandemic, many academic seminars and workshops have changed to virtual form enabling wider audience.
The guidelines claim “appropriate level of scrutiny will be exercised to identify the nature and sensitivity of the data, contents of presentation, information to be shared by Indian delegation.”
The authorities are warned not to permit programs that have subject matter related to security of State, border, North East states, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and other topics which are ‘clearly/purely related to India’s internal matters.’
It also cautioned to judiciously select IT application and other technical support for the events.
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