DUSU polls: NSUI promises ‘institute of eminence’ tag, affordable food, housing
An ‘Institute of Eminence’ tag for the varsity, free laptops, affordable food and accommodation for students are some of the demands that the National Students Union of India (NSUI) has promised to push for if it wins the Delhi University students’ union (DUSU) elections this year.
The promises are part of the manifesto — released by the Congress-affiliated student group on Monday — ahead of the DUSU polls, which has been scheduled for September 12.
After a gap of five years, the NSUI had won the two top posts – president and vice-president — in the DUSU elections last year.
The demand for the ‘Institute of Eminence’ status comes in the wake of the University Grants Commission’s (UGC’s) recent proposal of replacing grants to educational institutions with loans through the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA).
“The only way to continue getting the grant from the government is to get an Institute of Eminence tag. We don’t want to see the university getting privatised and becoming out of reach for those coming from the marginalised sections of the society,” NSUI national president Fairoz Khan said.
In July this year, the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development had declared six educational institutions — three public and three private — as Institutes of Eminence. With this tag, the three public institutions will receive a grant of ₹1,000 crore from the government over the next five years.
Among the other demands raised by the NSUI in its manifesto this year are distributions of free laptops to first-year students, construction of more hostels and reading rooms on campus and affordable meals for students.
“Ours is the only student party that is demanding affordable food and accommodation for students on campus. We are going to put pressure on the administration to redistribute the laptops that were given to the students under the FYUP in 2015 and later taken away. The laptops are lying unused on campus,” NSUI Delhi coordination Akshay Lakra said.
An NSUI office-bearer, on condition of anonymity, said this year’s DUSU polls would be fought as an “election of prestige” as it will help the party create an electoral mood among the youth ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha
“From the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee to the India Youth Congress, everyone is mentoring the NSUI this time around,” the office-bearer said.
The NSUI has, in its manifesto, also highlighted topics of national interest such as pending SC/ST scholarships, celebration of all states’ culture and anniversaries of political icons etc.
“The party is focusing on creating a team of dedicated youth who will campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections to attract young voters. Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit will also mentor 100 selected women leaders after the DUSU polls,” the party member said.
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