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Presi moots online union poll

Presidency University is planning to hold student union polls online from next year in an attempt to minimise disruption and violence.

In the proposed system, students will collect and submit nomination forms and also cast their vote online, Presidency registrar Prabir Dasgupta said. “We plan to introduce a system in 2015 that will enable students to vote online in the union poll,” Dasgupta said.

According to the plan, the online voting will stretch 10-15 days. “We want to ensure prompt declaration of results, say within half an hour of the closure of the voting window,” the registrar said.

“Details of the proposal have not yet been worked out. We are yet to discuss the proposal with our students and teachers,” said an official at the university.

If the plan is implemented, Presidency will be the first university in the country to introduce online voting. The College Street institution was the first in Bengal to start online distribution and submission of nomination forms for student union polls.

The government in an advisory for universities and colleges issued last year listed a series of steps to ensure peaceful student union elections. Online distribution and submission of nomination forms was among the suggested measures.

“We have introduced the online system for distribution and submission of nomination forms. We now want to go a step further and start online voting to ensure that the entire process is free of trouble,” the source at Presidency said.

Online poll will also enable Presidency to maintain normal academic activities during the election.

Classes are usually not held on the poll day and also when nomination forms are filed. Calcutta University had to suspend postgraduate exams on its Rajabazar campus on the day the nomination forms were accepted.