In a press release dated January 3, 2018, several students’ organisations have mutually agreed upon a student resolution that was passed in Youthquake. The resolution deals with recommendations of electoral reforms, Students’ Right Act, the age of contesting elections, and unemployment allowance.
In a resolution passed by the students’ organisations in Youthquake on January 3, 2018, the rationalisation of the student elections and the formation of an independent Election Commission were seen as legitimate demands in the light of the arbitrary decision-making procedures of college administrations. The implementation of Lyngdoh Committee guidelines by the Ministry of Human Resource Development on an order of the Supreme Court adds weight to the demand for a separate legislation to deal with student elections in the country.
The students’ organisations have raised the demand for a separate institution under the Election Commission for conducting student elections and a complaint redressing mechanism. Such an independent Election Commission should be headed by a retired Chief Election Commissioner and should consist of retired members from the judiciary and administration, who possess impeccable records. Calls were made for compulsory and direct elections, revision of election expenditure especially the social media expenditure limit to be set in, the online voting system to restrict violence on students during elections, and reservation of seats for women candidates.
The Charter for Students’ Rights Act, comprising of the Fundamental Rights of Students and Directive Principles for universities and colleges was also laid down, which should be complied with by the university administration at all times. Additionally, a demand for a three-tier enforcement mechanism was also made, and the students’ organisations wanted the age of contesting elections to be brought down to 18 years.
“The Narendra Modi Government promised 2 crore jobs at the time of elections and made promises for unemployment allowances as well. But today, what we can see is that the credibility of universities is decreasing and democratic spaces for dissent are also being curbed by the institutions. Thereby, we have raised demands for the creation of an organisation/body along the lines of the National Commission for Women (NCW) or National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) to address the specific concerns of students- National Students’ Commission,” said Neeraj Mishra, National Media In-Charge of National Students’ Union of India (NSUI).
Several Students’ Organisations like the AISF, SFI, Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha, Naga Students’ Union, PUSU, Jharkhand Chhatra Sangh, Joint Action Commission-BHU, Swaraj Abhiyan, Panjab Students’ Union, Telangana Students’ Union etc. have mutually agreed upon the resolution. The Action Commission of the resolution consisted of J&K Students’ Union, YSR Students’ Union, All India Students’ Association (AISA), DUSU (Delhi University Students’ Union), AMU, SOPU, DURU etc.
Feature Image Credits: New Indian Express