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Should Uniform be made Compulsory for College and University Students?

ET Cases, 4 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Vandana Jayakumar and Dr. Nagendra V. Chowdary

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Should Uniform be made Compulsory for College and University Students?

“I love to see these uniform clad professionals. For me, people in uniform are always awe inspiring, be it the pilots and air hostesses or people from the armed forces”, exclaimed Swati as she and Vani waited at ‘Arrivals’ of Chennai International Airport, waiting for their cousins’ flight from New York. Vani however could not quite understand Swati’s liking for uniforms – “What is so special about uniforms…even we wear uniform to college every day and I really despise wearing uniform even after
completing schooling. It feels like we still don’t have the freedom to do what we want even after entering college”. Swati reiterated, “What is wrong in wearing uniform to college? In fact, for me it’s a matter of pride to wear the uniform, flaunting the college’s symbol, signifying that I belong to this institution”. The arguments between Swati and Vani continued until they were interrupted by the hustle of other visitors and passengers at the airport.

Like Swati and Vani, there are several proponents and opponents of a uniform code in Indian Colleges and Universities. In early 2018, an order from the Department of Higher Education of the Government of Rajasthan, stipulated that, “students of government colleges in Rajasthan would have to wear uniforms from the academic year 2018-19”,1 which attracted mixed reactions from the student community (Exhibit I)..............


Exhibit I: Students’ Arguments For and Against Uniforms in Government Colleges in Rajasthan


1 Sangeeta Pranvendra, “Uniform compulsory in Rajasthan government colleges, soon”,,March 8th 2018 (Accessed Date: July 17th 2018)

Teaching Note Preview

Should Uniform be made Compulsory for College and University Students?


The purpose of this Teaching Plan is neither to outline the answers to Case Debate’s discussion questions nor to suggest an ideal way of conducting an effective debate basis the given topic. It is more to share the authors’ perspectives, basis their classroom orchestration of this Case Debate, on possible ways of orchestrating this Case Debate.

Purpose of Case Debate

Purpose of this Case Debate, which is a prelude to the Case Method of Teaching, is to inculcate the following skills [Exhibit (TP)-I] that would amply benefit the participants during their careers...........

As this Case Debate is based on a very generic topic, the purpose is not to dwell into only the research-based inputs but more to prepare the students/participants for the process of case discussion – except that while the case discussion would be based on the case facts, the Case Debate encourages the students/participants to present their ideas with no rigorous business dilemma............



Exhibit (TP)-II: Classroom Orchestration Plan – Should Uniform be made Compulsory for College and University Students?



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Product code: OB-9-0070, OB-9-0070A


In an online poll, when students were asked whether uniform be made compulsory for all the College/University students, 46% said yes, while 54% said no.1 The heated debate on whether Colleges/Universities too should enforce uniform policies has been divided by strong supporting evidence on both sides. While a clear majority of schools in India mandate compulsory uniforms, whether the same should be extended to College and University students has been a raging debate. With recent disturbing and agonizing atrocities against women, one of the often-heard suggestions has been to enforce this campus discipline to foster uniformity and reduce possible distractions. In this very well-groomed and fashionable world, where everybody wants to look smart and stylish, uniform in Colleges/Universities is certainly an unsettled problem. What are the pros and cons of mandating a uniform code in Colleges/Universities?

This Case Debate centers around (a) The purpose of uniforms (b) Should Indian Colleges and Universities mandate compulsory uniforms for the students? (c) What are the pros and cons of enforcing uniform code in Indian Colleges and Universities? (d) How would uniform code in Colleges and Universities compare with dress code in manufacturing plants'shop floors?

Purpose of this Case Debate, which is a prelude to the Case Method of Teaching, is to inculcate the following skills that would amply benefit the participants during their careers:

(a) Ideation
(b) Discussion and Debate
(c) Empathy
(d) Appreciation

Case Debate Positioning and Setting

Depending on the purpose, this Case Debate can be used for either of the following:

  • MBA Programs – Organizational Behavior – To debate on how and whether uniform code promotes culture and values
  • Undergraduate Programs/BBA Programs – To debate whether uniform code promotes identity and oneness amongst the students

1 “Should students wear uniforms at college?”,

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