Lucknow, Oct 18 (IANS): Within hours of banning mobile phones in colleges and universities, the Uttar Pradesh government has taken a u-turn.
Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma told a select group of journalists that no such order had been issued.
A newspaper, that contradicted the IANS report, quoted the Deputy Chief Minister on the issue.
Dr Vandana Sharma, Director, Higher Education, also denied the ban report. She later issued an office order on Friday saying that the Director, Higher Education has not issued the order.
However, in the same report, the newspaper admitted that an Education Department official said an order was issued by Kanpur's Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj University on Wednesday that directed all heads of departments at the university and principals of affiliated colleges to ensure that students do not use cellphones in classrooms.
Dr Vinod Kumar Singh, the University Registrar, was quoted as saying that this order restricted use of phones in classrooms at institutions affiliated to the university.
An order issued by Dr Singh, and quoted in a news report, said: "Use of mobile phone is strictly prohibited in classes. The students are expected to not speak over phone or engage themselves in WhatsApp or social media during class. Those flouting the order will be treated as act of indiscipline and may face action. It is essential to maintain the sanctity of classroom."
According to sources, the u-turn has been taken in view of the upcoming assembly by-elections that are due next week.
This incidentally is the second time this week that the Yogi Adityanath government has taken a u-turn on crucial decision.
Earlier this week, the state government had ended the services of 25,000 home guards, quoting financial constraints.
As the matter grabbed headlines, the Minister for Home Guards Chetan Chauhan denied the report and said that no one would be rendered jobless.
Home guards are now planning a massive agitation for restoration of their services.
A senior BJP leader, however, admitted that both the decisions were ill-timed since they would directly impact the by-elections to 11 assembly constituencies, scheduled to be held on October 21.
"We will have to be careful about the timing of decisions," he added.