In a desperate bid to make engineering students go to sleep early at night, the Human Resource Development Ministry has announced new rules to be implemented by all recognised engineering colleges in the country.
The announcement came in the wake of the government’s worry that engineering students never go to sleep before 3am.
“The night is for sleeping,” said Minister Kapil Sibal. “These students are disturbing the natural balance. Since they refuse to follow the early to bed, early to rise motto, we are forced to bring out such rules.”
He blamed engineers for the single-digit growth rate of the country and denounced the fact that girls studying in engineering colleges are also following this sleep pattern.
The following are the rules established by Mr. Sibal, on the basis of the recommendation of the “Jaago India Jaago” committee.
1. All students who wish to pursue engineering must sign a bond which states that the signatory shall sleep by midnight, and wake up by 7:00 am. (The timing is relaxed by an hour for SC/ST students, while OBC students can wake up all night.) Failing to do so shall lead to detention upto 3 days or a fine of 500 rupees or both. Flying Squads shall conduct surprise raids in rooms to verify the state of the person inside it. (The minister said this will be very helpful in restricting the working hours of budding engineers by making them more disciplined.)
2. All the engineering colleges in the country (government and self-financed, both) must have snore-o-meters installed in all boys and girls hostels. The reading must not be below 80 decibels during the stipulated sleep time.
3. Games like Counter Strike, Need For Speed, Age Of Empires, etc will be banned at all levels. Jam-sessions on such games would also be illegal. (These shall, however, be allowed during technical fests of colleges.) Movie sessions at night will also be banned. (Students have grown so addicted to movies that they have started watching Tamil, Telugu, Korean, French movies with subtitles since Bollywood doesn’t churn out good movies.) External hard disks of students will be routinely examined by a gazetted government officer.
4. CDs of Lata Mangeshkar’s lullabies will be released for those who cannot sleep on time. Special marks will be given to those who play the CD to sleep.
5. Laptops and desktops intended for use by the students must have auto-shutdown by 11:45 pm and do-not power up before 7:00 am feature. The government shall hire the services of a major software company for the same. All phone calls which extend after 1:30 am will be tapped.
6. The Government, on account of its large-heartedness, keeping the happiness of the students in mind, shall make allowances for night long booze sessions on weekends. Birthday parties must have written permission from the nearest police station.
The minister made it very clear that since engineers are also future voters of the country, the government could not afford to antagonize them.
On being asked as to why only engineering students have been targeted by the government, Mr. Sibal said that the country is generating engineers on a large scale, but facing a dearth of doctors and other professionals. Hence these students have been exempted from this rule—the exemption would hopefully divert some population from engineering towards these streams.
The All India Engineers Forum and Engineer’s Society have condemned these rules. They have called for a nation wide “mass wake up” on a date yet to be scheduled.