Indore (Madhya Pradesh)
Continuing its custom, Department of Higher Education (DHE) has once again fixed August/September for formation of students' union but it is very unlikely students' union polls would be held this year too.
Though higher education minister Mohan Yadav said that he is in favour of students’ union polls, the fact remains he has been saying the same thing for the past two years, and has been forced to eat his words.
Despite Supreme Court’s order for conducting students' union polls, the state government does not hold the elections and did not even bother to give any excuse for it.
“Students' union, which present the best organised way of building understanding between the students and the institute administration, have no place in this State,” said Youth Congress leader Abhijeet Pandey.
“There is no respect for the Supreme Court’s directives and no reply to the University Grants Commission (UGC)’s missive for holding students' union elections in institutes of higher learning,” he added.
Students face multiple problems especially related to exams and results but there is no elected body to fight for their causes.
“The state government apparently does not want students’ interference in policy decisions for higher education. Otherwise, there was no reason why elections were not conducted in the state,” NSUI leader Vikas Nandwana said.
After decades, elections were held in 2011 in indirect mode following a letter from UGC wherein it quoted the apex court’s order. But after that, the government did not conduct elections for six years. In 2017 again, students' elections were held but university-level council was not formed.
Since then the government again went silent on student union formation.
Following this unwritten ban on students' union, the state universities including Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya (DAVV) face contempt, but they cannot hold students' union polls without state government’s go ahead.
The apex court in 2006 had directed for implementation of the Lyngdoh committee recommendations on students' union elections.
The right to give permission for students' union elections in universities and colleges rests with the state government. As permission was not granted, no polls were held for the past few years.
//Direct, indirect or hybrid of both
The Lyngdoh committee recommendations issued by the UGC in 2007 state that students' union elections should be conducted in direct, indirect manner or a hybrid of both over a period of five years.
“Where the atmosphere of the university campus is adverse for holding free and fair elections, the university, its constituent colleges and departments must initiate a system of student representations based on nominations, especially where elections are not being held at present. It would be advisable, however, not to base such nomination system on purely academic merit as is being practised throughout the country,” the recommendations read.
“… all institutions must, over a period of five years, convert from the nomination model to a structured election model, that may be based on a system of parliamentary (direct) elections, or the presidential (indirect) system or a hybrid of both.”