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PUNJAB-Principals oppose student body polls Say It May Lead To Groupism, Indiscipline

August 01, 2018 05:35 AM


Principals oppose student body polls
Say It May Lead To Groupism, Indiscipline


Worried about possible rise in “groupism and indiscipline” amongst students, principals of most government colleges in Punjab are not in favour of holding elections to elect students’ unions. There are 48 government colleges in Punjab, which have not held students’ body elections for over 30 years.

Punjab higher education minister Razia Sultana had recently convened a meeting of the principals of the state government colleges, where most of the principals said that the students’ union elections would lead to “groupism and indiscipline.” Students’ unions have not been elected in Punjab’s government colleges after these elections were discontinued in 1984. In the run up to the 2017 assembly elections, the Congress had included the students’ union polls as one of the key items in its manifesto.

The reluctance of the college principals to conduct students’ body elections has slowed down the process to restart the polls in these institutions. The higher education minister said, “Holding students’ body election is on the agenda of the government, but a conscious decision will be taken after due discussions with all stakeholders.”

Principal of Saroop Rani Government College for Women in Amritsar, Nutan Sharma, shared during the meeting that students’ council elections were being held in her college without any external interference and the college administration had not faced any problem. She also said that the students’ bodies were helpful in carrying out day-to-day activities in the college. However, she too agreed that conducting students’ body elections in coeducation colleges or colleges for male students would not be that easy, especially, if there was external interference.

On March 27, chief minister Amarinder Singh had announced in the legislative assembly that the students’ union elections would be held from the 2018-19 academic session in the state universities — Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar, Punjabi University in Patiala and Punjab Technical University in Jalandhar — as well as their affiliated colleges after a gap of over three decades.

The students’ bodies as well as political leaders across all parties have been demanding the revival of these elections in the state universities and colleges, saying these bodies were necessary for protecting students’ rights and that the elections were part of the democratic system.

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