After two decades an educational institution in the Valley will witness students’ union polls on Friday. However, authorities of south Kashmir’s Islamic University for Science and Technology (IUST) have put out a rider: “No outside politics, only students welfare.”
But the 2,000 plus students expected to cast vote on Friday don’t seem to be complaining. “We have been waiting for it for several years,” said Syed Sarmad. This 22-year-old engineering student is contesting for the president's post along with three other candidates.
Students politics at any college or university campus was banned since militancy broke out in 1989. Kashmir University floated a students’ body Kashmir University Students Union in 2008 without the requisite permission from university authorities, and was forced to fold up soon after. Other political hubs such as the Sri Pratap College and Amar Singh College in Srinagar remain ‘union-less’.
The IUST authorities have constituted a seven-member committee to streamline the poll process. “The polls will provide a platform to allow students to interact with each other,” said IUST registrar MA Masoodi.