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Student body elections at IIT B

The Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) goes to polls on Monday to usher in a new student body for academic, hostel and cultural secretary posts.

mumbai Updated: Feb 13, 2012 01:15 IST
Bhavya Dore

The Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) goes to polls on Monday to usher in a new student body for academic, hostel and cultural secretary posts.

As the city gears up for civic elections this week, a microcosm of the electoral battle will be played out in this college campus. Campaigning has been on at IIT-B since the beginning of this month with election manifestos, promises, et al.

Better campus transport services and food facilities are among the top issues mentioned in the manifestos of candidates contesting for the post of general secretary of hostel affairs. Those battling for the position of general secretary of academic affairs have proposed counselling services as well as credits for students’ summer projects.

“People weigh the feasibility of the different changes proposed. Can these plans be implemented is the question?” asked a student, in between rounds of campaigning on Friday night.

Even the campus newspaper – Insight at IIT-B – is playing an active role to add to the election frenzy. They are providing voters an interface to come face to face with the candidates, through a series of videos campaign promises on their website. However, like any election, manifestoes and promises of reforms can only take you so far. “I’d say around 80% of the students of the institute don’t even go through the manifestos before voting on election day,” said one student. “It all comes down to friends and influencing people.”

Though these elections are student-driven, a detailed code of conduct has been in place since the process kicked off last month. A letter from the dean’s office warns candidates against wooing the electorate with gifts. “Specifically cigarettes etc being distributed will be taken note of very seriously,”read the note.