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Sunday, 8 November 2020

Senate poll: Student wings arrive on scene

Deepankar Sharda

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7

The row over dissolving Panjab University Senate has taken a new turn as students’ wings of various political parties have now entered the tussle.

The move has come as a surprise from many as all these parties were never on the scene earlier when the authorities postponed the Senate elections twice.

Notably, the former syndics have already approached the UT Administrator, UT Adviser, Punjab Chief Minister and others to raise the issue amid speculations of formation of a Board of Governors (BoG) by the Chancellor’s office, but to no avail.

While the NSUI team organised a protest against the alleged autocratic rule of Vice-Chancellor (VC) in front of his residence and the Joint Students Action Committee, comprising members of the ASA, AISA, AISF, SOI, PUSU, NSUI, PSU (L), SFS, PUSF, Y4S and SATH, has also come out in support of conducting elections. The ABVP has decided to go otherwise and support the BoG’s formation.

“The protest was organised to stop direct assault on the fundamental structure of Panjab University. This structure has remained intact since the university was founded in 1882,” said Manoj Lubana, national social media chairman of the NSUI.

“The clear demand is to conduct the Senate elections as soon as possible. The dictatorial rule of the Vice-Chancellor has crossed all limits. He is now attacking the highest governing body of the PU,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Joint Students Action Committee has decided to issue an open letter to students, employees, farmers and trade unions of Punjab, who have nothing to do with Senate elections, in order to seek their support on the issue.

The panel also claims to be making efforts to bring together members of the Senate, PUTA and organisations working in other sections of the university on a common platform to widen the struggle.

“The BoG will be formed after dissolving Senate. Decisions will be imposed directly from Delhi. Students’ ability to fight and resist against such decisions will be reduced,” said panel.

Contrary to this, Vikrant Khandelwal, AVBP’s zonal organisation secretary, North Zone, issued a statement in favour of the new BoG.

“All these students’ factions of political parties don’t oppose the Punjab Government, which doesn’t even allow students elections in the state. The National Education Policy (NEP) is all set to be implemented and the BoG is one of its main clauses. The government has asked for objections against NEP, but no students’ party or syndic has submitted anything against it,” stated Khandelwal.

“The authorities are already struggling to balance interests of students’ organisations in the Covid-19 pandemic. The survival of the university seems to be difficult in the coming times if politics remains active at such level,” said a professor.

from The Tribune

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