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  1. Arvind Kejriwal’s CCTV plan to make Delhi kids safe will give private schools serious lessons

Arvind Kejriwal’s CCTV plan to make Delhi kids safe will give private schools serious lessons

Delhi government led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has planned to install CCTV cameras in all state-funded schools and give parents access to live feed from classrooms.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: January 19, 2018 7:40 PM
arvind kejriwal surprise raid gtb hospital Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal interacts with a patient during a suprise raid at GTB Hospital in Delhi. (Twitter/AAP)

In the wake of shocking recent attacks on kids in schools, Delhi government led by CM Arvind Kejriwal has planned to install CCTV cameras in all state-funded schools and give parents access to live feed from classrooms. The plan has been lauded by many but also faced objections from some. “Reviewed the progress of installation of CCTV cameras in each class in all govt schools. Each parent will be given access to see his child studying in class on realtime basis on his phone. This will make the whole system transparent and accountable. It will ensure the safety of kids,” Kejriwal had tweeted yesterday. The decision will certainly put pressure on private schools of the national capital to come up with a similar initiative.

Last year, a class two kid was killed in Ryan International School in Gurugram. This week, a class 1 student was stabbed by a girl at a private school in Lucknow. Kejriwal government had started the work on the plan to install the CCTV cameras in schools in September 2015. However, the decision to provide the live feed from the classroom was made public last week. As per reports, the CCTVs will be installed in 1,000 schools within three months.

“It’s not Spying. There was a child death in Ryan International. The blame was on a poor man. But if all classes are with CCTV. Even the child will be in good discipline and how much efforts teachers are taking to bring up the career of students parents will know. bonding,” wrote one user named Cleanio Carvalho while replying to Kejriwal.

However, the new decision has faced criticism on the ground that it may lead to unnecessary “restrictions” on children, “spying” and, moreover the impact of CCTV cameras on public safety was unclear. Advocate Apar Gupta, who was recently involved in the right to privacy case in the Supreme Court, raised these concerns while replying to Kejriwal in a series of tweets.

“Evidence exists that disputes the claims of security through CCTV deployment. Further wide use of CCTVs directly lead to a surveillance society. Urge you to have a public consultation which offer a chance to place concerns and take a sound policy decision. He is an elected official and should implement what works well for people — serves his constituents. Errors in judgement and irrationality can be corrected by engagement and public interaction. Let’s critique but ask for a consultation,” tweeted Gupta.

“From the literature I have read multiple studies exist and a review of them leads to inclusive, sometimes conflicting results of CCTVs on crime prevention (as opposed to investigation and prosecution). Many label them as what you can call the, “scare crow effect” where a predator in time factors the effectiveness of the CCTV based on policing response and not the CCTV in isolation. Look up Google Scholar + SSRN. Take the example at hand. A realtime video tracker in schools will lead to policing of children not only to prevent crimes but their moral choices and behavior. Eg. social interactions (“stay away from X kid”). It will condition children into fearful clients not full individuals,” Gupta further said in his tweets.

“Mr @ArvindKejriwal your intent may be good but this is not the method. Being watched & to keep a watch….is not a great sense of security. Watching kids & teachers real time (all the time) would also mean breaching privacy plus will also kill natural social evolution of kids.” tweeted Vijaya Moorthy

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