Former Chief Election Commissioner of India JM Lyngdoh in his report submitted to the Supreme Court recently has suggested several measures to check increasing politicisation and criminalisation of student politics in the country.
One of the important suggestions is for setting up an election commission for students union elections in the universities.
Lyngdoh has also suggested that maximum expenditure limit for the union elections should be Rs 10000 and upper age limit for a candidate contesting students union elections should be 27 years.
A candidate must file a declaration that he or she is not connected with any political party for the purpose of student union elections.
The logic behind fixing upper age limit is to prevent professional politicians continuing to be students in order to occupy hostel rooms and to maintain their hold on the students politics by taking admissions in different courses till they reach middle age.
A candidate must have 75 per cent attendance or the percentage fixed by a university whichever is higher.
Lyngdoh committee was appointed by union HRD ministry under the Supreme Court directions for preventing the entry and influence of political parties and criminals on student community.
Three election modes have been suggested in the report for example
• Toppers should be elected to the posts of president, secretary etc. Both at college and university level.
• Direct election of office bearers for individual colleges, which would form collegium for electing office bearers at university level.
• To elect the representatives to the collegium who in turn elect the office bearers at university level.
Other members of the committee are Dayanand Daongaker, secretary general of the Association of Indian universities, Zoya Hasan of JNU, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, former member of the Knowledge Commission, Ved Parkash, Director of National Institute of Education Planning and Management and IP Singh, retired deputy Comptroller and Auditor general of India.
The setting up of Election Commission has been recommended to ensure free and fair elections in student union elections and also to ensure the compliance of rules and regulation laid down for orderly conduct of elections.
The directions by the court were issued by the apex court in Kerala University elections case.