Mumbai: Finally, after a long wait of 25 years, student elections will be back on campuses in all state universities. But this time, campus polls will have no political intervention or influence whatsoever from political parties, claimed Ashish Shelar, state education minister of school and higher secondary education.
No political intervention
Campus elections will not have any kind of influence from any political parties. Shelar said, “These elections will be purely based for students without any intervention from any political party. Students can run campaigns on a campus for contesting elections but no political leaders will be allowed to do so within a campus.”
Challenge to prevent political influence from entering campuses
The main challenge is to prevent political influence at the ground level. “We need to keep a close tab at the ground level to prevent political intervention in any form on a campus. We need to check ground realities, as often it is challenging to prevent political influence at the local level,” Shelar said.
Students keen on contesting elections
Students are enthusiastic on contesting elections, running campaigns and becoming future leaders. Kritika Mishra, a student said, “Campus polls help us to gain leadership qualities, improve communication skills and also cater to a team of youngsters. It gives the power and authority by uniting us to work as a team and reintegrate certain frameworks.”
While Tushar Jain, a student said, “Campus elections help us to highlight student issues, problems faced at the ground level, academic and personal issues faced while pursuing our studies. It serves as a platform to raise issues, draw the attention of authorities and bring about a change in the education system.”
Students can apply for elected posts like student council president, secretary, reserved category representative (RR) and lady representative (LR). Nominations for the city can be applied from all colleges and institutes affiliated to the Mumbai University (MU).
Why no elections for 25 years?
Since 1994, campus polls were banned in Maharashtra. The ban was enforced following the murder of Owen D’souza, the district president of National Students Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of the Congress party, on October 5, 1989 outside Mithibai College, Vile Parle.