Even as student associations are gearing up for polls, most of the colleges in the state are against the direct form of student body elections in colleges as well as in Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) campus.
The HPU has convened a meeting of all principals on August 4 to collect their opinion about the student body polls.
Meanwhile, as per available information, most of the principals are against the direct form of elections. Some of them are of the opinion that after implementation of Rashtriya Uchchtar Siksha Abhiyan (RUSA), college elections would affect the academics. During a meeting held with the education department, majority of principals had objected to direct form of student polls.
Sources told HT that principals cited campus violence as the main cause behind the proposal to ban elections in direct form and suggested indirect 'nomination' of Students Central association (SCA). Some principals, who even supported the elections, stressed the need for violence-free atmosphere on the campuses.
HPU vice-chancellor ADN. Bajpai clarified that he is not against student elections but the violence caused due to the elections in university and colleges. “I have never opposed the democratic set up of election but the violence,” Bajpai told HT while adding that his main priority is academics and he would initiate every step required for that.
Despite confusion over the issue, student associations are gearing up for the election, stating that no one could ban the elections as it was their democratic right. All three student organisations have been opposing the university's stance on banning student elections.
HPU Student Central Association (SCA) general secretary Piyush Sewal said the university administration, vice-chancellor in particular, wanted to scuttle the democratic rights of students. “Eversince the V-C has joined the university, he has tried his level best to demolish the democratic values,” he said while adding that during the past three years, he had dissolved the SCA and didn't conduct student executive council elections.
Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) district president Kaul Negi said, “There should be a fact finding exercise to ascertain the reason behind violence. Just banning the elections would not serve the purpose”.
Student politics in the state has always been marred by controversy. Four students have been murdered in violence related to student politics since late 1970s.
Since most of the colleges principals have objected to direct election, HPU is likely to decide in favour of indirect form of election. In this format, a collegium would be formed including the academic topper of the class, an NCC certificate holder, an NSS cadet who has attended two camps and a sports scholar. The collegium will nominate a vice-president, a general secretary and joint secretary while the dean (student welfare) of the respective institution would be the patron and advisor of the nominated body.