Telangana elections: Which issues do students want politicians to focus on 

Students continue to hold out hope that their concerns will be taken into account and addressed in the election manifestos
What do students want? | (Pic: EdexLive)
What do students want? | (Pic: EdexLive)

Students across Telangana have collectively appealed to the political parties for the inclusion of their pressing issues in the upcoming manifestos. Among the innumerable challenges they face, a prominent concern is the delayed sanction of scholarship amounts, resulting in educational institutions withholding certificates upon course completion, stated a report in The New Indian Express.

Kashif Mahmood, a former engineering student and the administrator of the Instagram page 'Students Wing' with a following of nearly 16,000 students, recently urged students to highlight issues for the political parties to fulfil. The response was immense, with many students sharing their concerns. Kashif emphasised the significance of student votes and the need to address unnoticed issues due to a lack of dedicated platforms in a conversation with The New Indian Express.

Students are calling for government intervention in regulating the fees charged by private schools and junior colleges. Many are also distressed by private institutions withholding their certificates, demanding full-fee payments. "Even students who discontinue their course due to various reasons in the first year are asked to pay fees until the final year to obtain their certificates. There needs to be a body to solve this issue," says Kashif.

However, the most prevalent concern shared by students with The New Indian Express was scholarships. "As scholarships are not being disbursed timely, we are struggling to secure regular meals," said Rahul (name changed), a second-year law student at Osmania University. He has not received his Rs 1,500 scholarship for mess per month, Rs 13,000 for yearly tuition fees, and Rs 3,000 for stationary for two years. Additionally, there are concerns regarding the availability of clean and safe drinking water and food on campus.

"The condition of our hostels is deplorable. These hostels, originally constructed by the Nizam for his horses, are now housing students. Shouldn't this be considered a significant issue?" Rahul questioned. In addition to the shortage of faculty, employment is another crucial issue that students are urging political parties to address. Rahul pointed out, "Osmania University has a dire lack of placements, with zero opportunities for its students."

An engineering student, who wishes to remain anonymous and spoke on behalf of fellow classmates to The New Indian Express, also emphasised the pressing issue of employment. "Many invest significant money in further education and skill development, yet they struggle to find suitable jobs. If the government could provide financial assistance or skill-building support for students after graduation, it would alleviate their concerns considerably," the student highlighted.

TSPSC Group I exams
A significant number of students are deeply concerned about the Group-1 posts in the State. They pointed out that despite their persistent efforts, the Telangana government is yet to conduct a single, scandal-free Group-1 examination. Students also highlighted that, they have been a little more stressed due to the harassment from their teachers or other individuals in society, leading to an increase in suicide rates.

Dental education
Emphasising the scarcity of dental education opportunities Dr. Md Manzur Ahmed, the National President of the All India Dental Students and Surgeons Association, said that currently, there is only one government dental college with a mere 100 seats in the entire state. Establishing a dental department in the upcoming medical college would be a welcome move to increase the number of available seats." Dr. Ahmed further highlighted that not a single dentist has been recruited in the last decade. He also recommended the initiation of a dental health campaign similar to Kanti Velugu, aimed at promoting dental health.

A student expressed his lack of optimism regarding the upcoming elections, stating, "The government may or may not change, but the bureaucracy and administration will likely remain the same." Despite this scepticism, students continue to hold out hope that their concerns will be taken into account and addressed in the election manifestos.

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