Government officials in the southern Indian state of Karnataka banned mobile phones from schools and junior colleges. They say the mobile phone ban is to head off potential adverse health effects.
An official notification of the ban is expected to be announced in the next couple days, said Basavaraj Horatti, the state’s minister for primary and secondary education, and R Ashok, minister for health and family welfare, speaking to reporters on Tuesday in Bangalore, Karnataka's capital.
The state government has also decided to ban the sale of mobile handsets to children 15 years old and younger, thus making it difficult for children to acquire and use mobile phones even outside school hours.
The move by the government is not likely to go down well with students and parents. In Bangalore, for example, where delays and traffic jams are frequent, students use their mobile phones to keep in touch with parents.
Other Indian states have also restricted the use of mobile phones but for different reasons.
Delhi has banned mobile phones in schools since 2005, after a MMS (multimedia messaging service) clip of a sexual act between minor students was sent out to mobile phones and later posted on an online auction site.