The Patna University's decision to hold student union elections this year has evoked mixed response from students. While some say that a student body will benefit them, as they will have better representation, others feel that it will politicise the campus.
"Without a doubt, a student body will allow us to put forth our problems and complaints in a proper way. College events will be organised more systematically and students will feel more involved. It will also instil a sense of participation among students," said Rohit Priyadarshi, a BSc student.
However, many students are of the view, that college is meant for studies and not politics.
"Even now, our classes run erratically. If elections are held, classes will be hampered entirely. We have three years to study for our course. Where is the time for any other activity?" wondered Siddharth Kumar, another student.
The general drift of the talk on the campus is, that the entire election will boil down to a show of political prowess. Some even fear that if a neutral candidate wins the elections, there is a chance that the ones who were politically empowered, would harm him or her.
"There is a general disinterest among students for the polls because the PU has not witnessed election of student bodies in the last 28 years. We still do not know what student bodies are supposed to do and what their powers are," said a BA second year student, Nitin of Patna College.
Some PU colleges like Patna Women's College and Magadh Mahila have been holding student cabinet elections to appoint representatives to manage various activities in the institutions.
Many of the girls who HT talked to, were unaware of the forthcoming student union polls, insisting they were quite satisfied with the college student cabinet group.
Meanwhile, UK Sinha, the head of the six-member committee constituted by Patna University vice-chancellor Shambhu Nath Singh to study the Lyngdoh Committee report to decide the procedure for student union elections, said that the elections are likely to be held by the first or second week of October.
"The manner of voting and the notice regarding the eligibility of candidates would be sent to all departments and principals of the colleges soon," he added.
Several student bodies, including All India Students' Federation (AISF), All India Students' Association (AISA), National Students' Union of India (NSUI) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), had demanded student union polls several times.
But the matter got a boost only when chief minister Nitish Kumar supported the demand during the foundation day of Patna College last year.