Uncertainty over students’ union poll in Ravenshaw

Cuttack: Uncertainty over students’ union polls at Ravenshaw University here is continuing as varsity sources recently said the executive council of the institution, scheduled to meet in the second week of October, would take a final call on the issue.
According to sources, the executive council was supposed to meet in the second week of this month to deliberate on the students’ union elections. The move followed an advisory by the Higher Education Department asking universities and colleges across the state to complete the students’ union polls by September 23.
“The varsity executive council will meet in October second week. It may deliberate on the student union polls,” said registrar Maheswar Agasti Wednesday.
Ravenshaw authorities had scrapped a unified students’ union for the university August 10 and decided to constitute nine students’ councils instead. As per the new guidelines, students of all nine schools in the university will vote to elect separate councils.
The varsity authorities had decided to conduct elections to the nine students’ councils August 22 and 23. However, the new system for students’ union polls had invited sharp reactions from several quarters.
Activists of Biju Chhatra Janata Dal (BCJD), National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Akhila Bharat Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO) have opposed the decentralised system of election.
Ravenshaw authorities were forced to postpone the elections to the proposed students’ councils August 22 as a group of students locked the university gates to oppose the polls. They had then announced that the executive council of the university would deliberate on the poll issues and decide fresh dates for voting.
Meanwhile, intellectuals and leaders of some outfits have alleged that the university authorities are trying to cancel election to the students’ union. “Ravenshaw authorities are trying to cancel the students’ union polls to cover up many irregularities at the university. They have no right to take away students’ democratic rights,” said Sisir Parija, secretary, Biju Yuva Janata Dal.
University executive council member and senior professor Gauranga Charan Nanda said they cannot conduct the students’ union polls by September 23. “Ravenshaw is an autonomous institution. We cannot take a decision on the issue till the executive council meet,” he said.

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