Two of the country’s largest Central universities, Delhi University (DU) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), will go to polls on September 14. HT brings you a peek into their polling processes.
After a four-year-long hiatus, JNUSU was back in action when on March 1, the All India Students’ Association (AISA) led by Sucheta De, bagged all four posts. The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) won DUSU’s presidential seat last September. Rest three seats went to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
Both universities have divergent political views. In DUSU, power largely shuttles between the Congress-backed NSUI and BJP-backed ABVP. But JNU’s Left ideology has primarily remained impenetrable.
JNU candidates have to adhere strictly to Lyngdoh Committee recommendations, which banned distribution of pamphlets and organisation of public discussions, etc. There are no such restrictions in DU.
Each year, unions come with a slew of promises. Yet both seldom fulfill those promises. This year too, stellar infrastructure and student-friendly services are being promised. But students aren’t impressed.
“AISA told us they would get WiFi installed in the campus and improve hostel facilities. But nothing has changed," said Niti Bakshi, a student of JNU. In DU, few do have some faith in the union. “Since senior administration is difficult to approach, our first resort is usually to approach the union,” said Karan Sharma, a DU student.
Union speakWhile DU’s chief election officer maintains the polls teach young candidates the ropes of the country’s political scenario, unions take this exercise seriously. "We need more funds from the Centre. We work outside JNU too as it is important to work for underprivileged people," said De. But NSUI-led DUSU has different priorities. "We work for students and the university. If we can’t help students, what is the point of a union?" said Ajay Chhikara, outgoing president, DUSU.