Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 9
Panjab University (PU) has refused permission to a blind student from the Department of Evening Studies from recording lessons in class as teachers have objected to it. The teachers fear that lectures can be misused and they feel uncomfortable in class where as students’ leaders say any student, whether blind or not, has a right to record lectures.
Jagdish Chander, 47, is pursuing MA English from the Department of Evening Studies. He works in day as telephone operator in Bhakra Beas Mangament Board (BBMB) office in Chandigarh.
“First, my teachers at the department told me to take permission from chairperson Prof Gurpal Singh. When I submitted an application before him, it was sent to the Dean of University Instructions (DUI) Prof Meenakshi Malhotra. When I went to meet her on September 22, she told me take consent of teachers. Now, I am being told by my department that teachers will first edit the recordings and only then I could use them,” said Chander.
He added, “I have done BA and thereafter I did
MA in Music. I have also done LLB from the PU.
All my life I have studied with recording of the teachers’ lessons. The evening studies department has even told me to bring
a writer along, which I cannot afford.”
Chairperson Prof Gurpal Singh said it was teachers’ prerogative whether to allow the recording. He said, “We have sent his application to the DUI for comments. As there have been no rules for recording teachers’ lessons, till then it is a contract between a teacher and student. It is a teacher’s prerogative whether to allow recording.” He added, “The teachers fear that recorded lecturers could be misused and could be put on web. What is wrong, if he is suggested to use edited recordings?”
Prof Meenakshi Malhotra said, “Had I been teaching, I wouldn’t have any problem with someone recording my lecture. But I cannot force teachers to allow taping of lecturers as there is an issue of copyright. I will request teachers for allowing the taping as a blind student has been suffering. I will consult vice chancellor for framing a policy on recording of lecturers by students.”
Meanwhile, Jagdish Chander has been suffering as for the over the last two months, he has not been able to record lectures.
Kumar has earlier worked for blind students in Post Graduate Government College (PGGC), Sector 11, Chandigarh.
❝First, my teachers at the department told me to take permission from chairperson Prof Gurpal Singh. When I submitted an application before him, it was sent to the Dean of University Instructions (DUI) Prof Meenakshi Malhotra. When I went to meet her on September 22, she told me take consent of teachers. Now, I am being told by my department that teachers will first edit the recordings and only then I could use them. The evening studies department has even told me to bring a writer along, JAGDISH CHANDER which I cannot afford.❞ JAGDISH CHANDER
PROFESSORSPEAK STUDENT LEADER SAYS...
❝It is a precarious situation. We have apprehension that recordings could be misused. There are other students in the class and recording intrudes into their privacy as well as sometimes we scold them. We want to help Chander. We have to find some solution other than recording. The PU or the department must frame a policy on it. We have never had a blind student earlier.❞ PROF SS GILL
❝Had it been my class, I wouldn’t have any problem. But teachers’ consent is important and we need to deliberate on the issue for framing a policy.❞ PROF RAJESH GIL
❝I have no problem in recording of lectures. But they have to be gainfully edited to maximise the benefit.” PROF SUDHIR KUMAR
“The PU is not helping but harming a blind student while not allowing recording in the class. The student shouldn’t submit lectures for editing but teachers must give their recorded lectures to him if they fear any misuse. In fact, not just blind but all, students should be free to record ❞VIJAY KUMAR, PRESIDENT, ALL-INDIA STUDENTS ASSN, CHANDIGARH
❝I don’t see any reason why a blind student shouldn’t be allowed to record lectures” JASHAN KAMBOJ, PRESIDENT, PANJAB UNIVERSITY CAMPUS STUDENTS’ COUNCIL
❝Students should be free to record lectures. And here is a blind student. We must facilitate and not obstruct him. What else could he do?” KARAN RANDHAWA, JOINT SECRETARY, PUCSC