A half-hour before the clock strikes midnight, India's top technology institute pulls the plug on Internet access in students' dorm rooms.
Attend classes, turn out for sports and socialize. That's the Indian Institute of Technology's message to students, many of whom were showing up for class bleary-eyed, if it all, after late nights spent Internet surfing and gaming.
"We found attendance for the first lecture at 8:30 a.m. was falling," said Aruna Thosar-Dixit, an IIT spokeswoman. "Students were not alert, they were sleepy, some were even sleeping."
The ban has been in force since March 13 at the Mumbai IIT, one of seven prestigious engineering and technology institutes in the country. Access in individual dorms has been blocked starting at 11:30 p.m. each evening. It is restored 12:30 p.m. the next day.
Professors found students spent more time on the Internet than socializing and attending sports and cultural functions, Thosar-Dixit said.
Predictably enough, students are upset.
"It's true some students are addicted to gaming, so a partial ban was required, but this long a duration will hit all students," said second-year student S. Saurabh, adding that fewer students would complain about a shorter ban, such as one beginning at 1 a.m.
Former student Manesh Patel, now employed with a top business consulting firm, said pulling the plug on the Internet would only hurt students working on school projects.
Besides, he said, the country's brightest tech minds will find ways to circumvent the rules.
"Hard-core gamers will continue no matter what," Patel said.
The Mumbai institute said it would review its ban after a month.