National Students’ Union of India launches Manifesto

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The NSUI made a public declaration of policy and aims, especially one issued before an election by a political party or candidate on the 27th of August. Here’s all you need about their goals and promises.

On Monday, 27th August 2018, The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) announced it’s manifesto with respect to the 2018 Delhi University Students’ Unions (DUSU) Elections. At the NSUI Office near Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, a panel of NSUI student leaders stood before a room packed with journalists and photographers, as they announced their goals and promises for the upcoming year, should NSUI win.

Ruchi Gupta, Joint Secretary, NSUI began by stating the core principles of NSUI; progress, freedom, diversity and empowerment. She emphasized five primary objectives, namely – 

  • Demand for Institute of Eminence status for University of Delhi.

Owing to the substandard global rankings of even the best Indian academic institutions, the government decided that three private and three public universities will be declared as Institutes of Eminence. These Institutions of Eminence would be given significant autonomy in operations — from setting their curriculum and recruiting foreign faculty to entering academic tie-ups. The selected government institutions would also be given up to ?1,000 crore over five years to help them become world-class. The ultimate objective is for these Institutions of Eminence to acquire global standing in a few years.

The NSUI raised objections over UGC’s rejection of DU as an institute of eminence, and even brought up the controversy of DU being Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alleged alma-mater. They emphasised of the controversy of Jio Institute being names as an Institute of Eminence, but the central government has already addressed it, saying Jio comes under the ‘greenfield’ category- the status will only be given on evaluation of performance after three years.

  • A campaign to identify 100 young women leaders in DU, to be mentored by former Chief Minister of Delhi, Ms Sheila Dixit.

The Pehli-Pidi programme focuses on first generation college students, under which 100 women will be identified and trained.This is an extension of NSUI’s vision to inculcate women into leadership roles, that they have previously worked upon by releasing a Women’s Manifesto ahead of Elections and by enabling the installment of Sanitary Pad Vending Machines in 32 DU Colleges.

  • Demand for subsidized Meal Thali for Rs. 10/- each.

They highlighted that over 70% of students are from economically weaker sections of society, and claimed that since IITs and IIMs provide subsidized food to their students, it would only be fair for DU students to expectthe same.

  • Concessional Student passes in Delhi Metro and DTC Buses.

Bringing light to the metro rail concessions available to students in Kolkata, the panel highlighted why a similar concession is important to DU students. Mentioning a well known incident where NSUI members jumped on metro tracks as protest, the members claimed that NSUI has been successful putting a break to metro fare hikes till 2020.

  • Demand for distribution of free laptops among DU students.

This demand has infamously been opposed by the CBCS in the past, and the panel was vague regarding the logistics of implementation and funding of this idea.

Fairoz Khan, National President NSUI took the floor to highlight NSUI’s achievements in the previous year. He talked about 24*7 library services for students brought about, installation of sanitary pad Vending Machines in 32 colleges and the launch of D-Youth, the first ever DU magazine, which was infamously interrupted by several ABVP members.

The panel claimed that the entry of CYSS into the 2018 elections was with the underlying agenda of dividing up anti-ABVP votes and bring down the gap in the ratio of votes. The panel also expressed grievances regarding the paucity of campaigning time available to them, which leads to confusion, uncertainty and mistrust among young voters. They also addressed the low voting turnout, and claimed the underlying reason for the same is mere 4 hours voting time provided to colleges with strengths of 3000+ students, a majority of which are first time EVM users.

Budget cuts, lack of transparency,  poor infrastructure for differently-abled, discriminatory hostel timings for women, women’s safety and security were a few miscellaneous issues brought forward by the panel.

The modus operandi of NSUI for 2018-19 is fairly promising and inclusive of the welfare of all DU students.
Feature Image Credits –  Adithya Khanna for DU Beat

Nikita Bhatia 

[email protected]

I was feminist before I knew what the word meant.

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