In a recent circular, SNDT Women's University has instructed its students on the Churchgate campus to maintain a formal dress code.

The circular issued by the students' welfare department goes on to add that strict action will be taken against girls found `indecently' dressed. However, the university has not listed what would be deemed as `indecent' attire.

The circular stated that the decision was taken after vice-chancellor Shashikala Wanjari noticed some students attending classes `inappropriately dressed'. Under her instruction, the principals, directors and heads of the departments, are requested to ensure that girls maintain a formal dress code on the campus, said the circular.

The dean of students' affairs, Linda Dennis, said the university has not imposed any dress code. “We have not asked students to stick to salwar-kameez or saree. They can wear whatever they want but will have to ensure that it is not inappropriate. We have seen girls wearing short blouses and midriff tops that are not suitable at an educational institute,“ she said, adding that it is the institute's prerogative to take such a decision.While the circular has been issued only for the Churchgate campus, it will soon be sent to other affiliated colleges too.

A student said the word `indecent' is subjective and may have different meaning for different people. “With such ambiguity, we are not sure what is allowed on the campus anymore,“ she said. “Also this is a women's university, it is ironic that the institute is curbing our independent choice on what we wear.“

Recently, St Xavier's College had banned students from wearing ripped jeans on the campus after many teachers complained.