The Tripura government has banned the use of mobile phones by students and teachers in schools across the northeastern state, an official said here on Saturday. The Meghalaya government has banned the use of mobile phones by drivers.
The Tripura cabinet took the decision in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.
A Tripura education department official said: "If a student up to Class 12 is caught using a mobile in the school premises, he or she would be punished." He added that a notification to the effect is being issued.
The official told reporters: "The Central Education Department issued the ban (to be applicable in all central government control and aided schools) a couple of months back and sent an advisory to all the state governments across the country to consider the issue."
Tripura School Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty said: "To maintain discipline in schools the ban on mobile phones was necessary."
The minister urged parents and guardians of students not to give mobile phones to their schoolgoing children.
The Meghalaya government has prohibited the use of mobile phones in vehicles, including two-wheelers.
"Sending or receiving calls, messages, playing games, listening to music, taking photos or making videos while driving has been banned," a Meghalaya government transport department notification said.
"Use of mobile phones, even when the vehicle is stationary or caught in a traffic jam, will not be permissible," the notification clarified.
A penalty of Rs 500 would be imposed for first violation and up to Rs 5,000 for the second or subsequent offences.
According to the notification, the vehicle licensing authority can also disqualify a lawbreaker from holding a driving licence or revoke it.