Presidency University’s exam roster is coming in the way of abiding by the government’s advisory of holding the student union elections by January 31.
The university will write to the education department seeking permission to hold its first student union polls on February 26, vice-chancellor Malabika Sarkar said. The date was finalised at a meeting between students and the university authorities on Friday.
An education department advisory issued on September 25 to all universities and colleges said: “It is advised that all student union elections across the state be completed, as far as practicable, not later than 31st January, 2014”.
Sarkar, however, said Presidency’s exam roster has left no room for the authorities to complete the elections by January 31.
“We will write to the education department seeking permission to hold elections in February next year as our exam roster does not leave us with any scope to complete the elections by January 31. The university will proceed with the elections after the department endorses our plea.”
Jadavpur University, a unitary university like Presidency, is likely to face the same problem and is all set to plead with the education department to allow it to hold the union elections in March.
“The schedule set by the education department seems to have been drawn up without considering the compulsions of unitary universities, which follow the semester system and hold exams every six months. Our next semester exams at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels will start in December and continue till January. After that there will be a three-week window for poll campaign. So it’s impossible to hold elections by January 31,” said a JU official.
The dean of students affairs at Presidency, Deboshruti Roychowdhury, said the postgraduate final-year exams would be completed by January 22 and the students would have to be given at least three weeks to campaign for the polls and file nominations. Undergraduate exams would be over by December.
“During the three-week period we also have plans to hold a presidential debate in which candidates for the post of office-bearers, such as general secretary and president, will have to justify their candidature before the students,” said Roychowdhury.
The students union elections at Presidency, before the Trinamul government suspended all such polls, used to be held on March 1. At JU, the elections were held in mid-March.
Presidency has plans to accept nomination forms online, in line with the government advisory which recommends such “innovative measures” to free students union election of violence, said officials.
In most students union polls, violence starts during the distribution and submission of nomination forms.
“We are working on a plan to start online submission of nomination forms. Everything will be finalised by the end of the year,” said Prabir Dasgupta, the university registrar.