Indian Institute of Technology, Madras has blocked access to the most popular social networking site Facebook on campus. The move has nothing to do with moral policing, said faculty members, but is meant to free up a strained campus network.
IIT-M dean of students, LS Ganesh said, "Access to Facebook has been blocked in the institute's hostels since last week. It has been blocked for some time. The network was getting severely clogged because of the amount of traffic."
Since increasing the number of seats at IIT-M , the institute is trying to make optimal use of available resources. Freshers are asked not to carry a personal computer or laptop in the first semester, so they can get familiar with the campus and enjoy its beauty. In the second semester most get a laptop , and usage is more than the institution's bandwidth can handle.
F! Bytes " "
FaaDoOEngineers caught up with a few students & ex-students of IIT-M and got some interesting bytes on the issue.
Rohan (name changed on request) BTech. 3rd Year said, "What a stupid move by IIT Madras. All work and no play makes jack a dull boy. We are humans, apart from studies, we need some entertainment, some socializing, etc to rejuvenate ourselves. A complete banning of Facebook for whatever reason is too frivolous. Solution: Rather, they can ban Facebook for some 21-22 hours or so and allow it for at least 2-3 hours daily."
Amit (name changed on request) an Ex-IIT-M student has similar views, "What! An 'IIT' - the fountainhead of Indian technological prowess, the source of so many employees to silicon valley tier A companies - with hardly 4500 or so people on campus (and unlikely that all 4500 are accessing Facebook all the time!) can't manage Facebook traffic?! It's unbelievable. In fact, it's so unbelievable that I smell a fake reason here! Probably, a prudish dean or board is the real reason. These academicians can be real prudes, especially in conservative areas."
Vikram, a PHD student echoed, "Iam a PhD student in IIT madras. Its a good move. some times i will feel very difficult to download papers and documents for research. we should respect this country as tax payers are spending money not for social networking.....Iam also find difficult to run high end simulations as network will be down most of the time. Our country is developing not a rich one. we as a scholars should live with what ever available."
"Very good move. Its an IIT for gods sake, a technical institution par excellence...not a park or a party pool to socialize. Guys should try to excel academically and technically when they have got the most conducive atmosphere that India can offer. I feel all colleges and schools should ban smartphones also in addition to these social sites. All the time spent wasting time online can be better utilized in studies. I might sound like a bore, but trust me the best education that you can carry till your lifetime comes in such institutions if you put your heart and soul into academics in a conducive atmosphere. Of course you can have fun but not at the expense of academics", said Rajesh, a final year MTech. student at the institute.
Anyways, tech-savvy students have found a way to access the website. "We can use Facebook through a proxy website or by making a small change to the URL. Anyway, usage is not excessive , so nobody seems to be overly upset that the site has been blocked," said a student.
However, with the institute's annual cultural festival Saarang scheduled to begin on Tuesday, many students said they were not being able to promote events on the social networking website, where it could catch more eyeballs among the target group than any other type of advertisement .
Technical experts said that it was unusual for one of the country's premier technical institutes to have to resort to blocking a site to ensure smooth traffic online.