While the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections allow undergraduate and postgraduate students to contest, some of the other polls such as the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) and Hyderabad Central University (HCU) allow students at the MPhil or doctoral level to participate.
It is interesting to know that while in some student wings, contestants are mainly from one course, in others the wing members and contestants are from a range of disciplines and courses. HCU students’ union president Zuhail KP is a research scholar in physics. “In NSUI, we have research scholars, students pursuing MPhil in biotechnology, MBBS students, MBAs, and aspiring lawyers,” says Angellica Aribam, national general secretary, NSUI.
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), which has been doing well in the last few editions of the DUSU polls has had a majority of office bearers pursuing master’s and higher level studies in Buddhist studies. DUSU’s outgoing president Satender Awana is a student of Buddhist studies. ABVP has also had candidates and office bearers from disciplines such as linguistics, political science, arts, and law. Students’ Federation of India (SFI), too has had office bearers from a diverse range of subjects. Vikram Singh, an office bearer, is a postdoctoral fellow in biology.
All India Students’ Association (AISA) has fielded candidates from various disciplines in the last few years. JNUSU’s outgoing vice president Shehla Rashid Shora is pursuing MPhil in law and governance. AISA’s DUSU president candidate Kanwalpreet Kaur is a law student.