Published: 05th September 2023
Campus elections, yes or no?: VCs of Osmania University and Bangalore University respond
Campus elections nurture leadership qualities in students but what do VCs think about it?
The excitement is on at Delhi University given that they are going to polls for student elections. But there are still states in which campus elections are not encouraged. Is this detrimental to the spirit of an educational institution or a small blip?
We spoke to Vice Chancellors from two universities in India, from states where campus elections are banned or not encouraged, to understand their views on the presence of student unions on campus.
The VCs expressed that the presence of an elected student leader on campus can help maintain a democratic and engaging environment for the students.
Osmania University, Telangana
States like Telangana, Karnataka and Rajasthan currently have a ban on campus elections for all state-run universities. Prof. D Ravinder, Vice-Chancellor of Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana, expressed that the absence of student unions has its own setbacks.
“All the state-run institutes in Telangana have had a ban on campus elections from 1988. Usually, there is one representative leader of the students who coordinates with the administration for student issues. Now in the absence of this role, everyone has become a leader and many such small groups are creating nuisance on campus. Every other person is coming as a leader and asking the administration to postpone exams and so on. If there was one leader, it would make it easier for both students and university,” the vice-chancellor added.
Bangalore University, Karnataka
In Karnataka as well, student unions have been banned for over three decades since 1989 when the state government started the ban to keep institutions free from politics and violence.
“Student groups are also important stakeholders in the education system and the university and their voices should be heard. They can question any issue related to academics as well as administrative matters and I believe that any policies of the institution should be student-centric. They should be able to question, put forward their views and support the management,” said Dr Jayakara Shetty M, Vice-Chancellor of Bangalore University, Karnataka.
The students of Bangalore University recently urged the state government to reinstate campus elections in state universities, added the vice-chancellor.