Ranchi University (RU), the largest in Jharkhand, will hold student union elections in September after a gap of six years. Varsity officials said a notification regarding the poll would be issued soon.
RU, spread over five districts, conducted only two student union elections since its formation in 1962 - highlighting the lack of say student bodies have in the varsity. According to rules, the university is mandated to conduct elections every year.
Satish Gupta, dean (student welfare), said: “We will hold the elections in September and the notification is likely to be out by August.” He said the varsity would follow the Lyngdoh committee guidelines to hold the elections.
Under the Lyngdoh committee’s guidelines, there will be cap on expenditure that a candidate can incur in the election and also restrictions on the way student leaders carry out campaigns. In 2006, the Supreme Court made it mandatory to follow the committee’s recommendations while holding elections in universities and colleges across India.
Notably, RU held its first students body election in 1987 and the second in 2007. In 2007, the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) won two out of five seats and its ally Jharkhand Chhatra Sangh secured one seat. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) got two seats.
Last year, the varsity wanted to conduct elections but could not do so due to Durga Puja vacations and Panchayat Polls in the state, officials said.
Harish Kumar, state co-convener of AJSU, said the ensuing poll was a litmus test for vice-chancellor Ramesh Kumar Pandey since all his predecessors in the past six years failed to keep their promise. Pandey could not be reached for comments.
“It shows the lack of importance RU gives to its students. It is also the failure of the vice chancellors, all of whom had claimed students’ election was their priority, but failed,” Kumar said about the institution’s failure to hold polls earlier.
The varsity and the student bodies have been at loggerheads over the process of elections since 2007, one of the reasons for cancellation of poll every year. The student unions want direct elections and the RU is for indirect one, wherein each college elects five representatives who compete for the election.
“We want elections to be conducted every year and are hopeful even this year. The differences over direct and indirect elections led to postponement of polls every year,” ABVP’s Ranchi convener Atal Pandey said.
There are 16 constituent and 54 affiliated colleges across five districts under the university, which has more than 75,000 students on its rolls.