Published: 15th September 2023
DUSU elections training ground for leaders: Chief Election Officer Prof Chander Shekhar
Prof Chander Shekhar, Chief Election Officer for DUSU election 2023-24, spoke about high enthusiasm on campus, expectations from upcoming polls, new changes as well as old traditions
One of the most highly anticipated student elections for Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) is just around the corner. This year, the campus politics is returning to Delhi University after almost four years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last DUSU election was held in 2019. The elections are held for these DUSU office bearers — president, vice-president. secretary, and joint secretary and members of DU's central council.
Preparations have begun in the full-swing from students to administration. While student unions are starting their pre-campaign and deciding their candidates for the upcoming polls, the university administration has also formed an electoral committee to ensure that the process goes smoothly.
In a conversation with Prof Chander Shekhar, Chief Election Officer, DUSU election 2023-24, we get to the backstage of this year’s anticipated campus electoral process. Here is an excerpt from our conversation about election preparation, significance, expectations and more:
Since DUSU elections are going to be conducted after a gap, the excitement is high among the students. What can be expected from this year’s DUSU election?
The elections are happening after over three years, it is very natural that students are very excited. Since the present students have not been able to participate in the process and it has been their long withstanding demand, we have decided to give a one-time age relaxation of three years this time for the participating candidates.
It has been clearly mentioned that it is only a one-time relaxation for the academic year 2023-24.
During this time, the nation’s eyes get on DUSU elections, how are you planning to make it a model that other student union elections can follow?
Delhi University Students Union elections have always been a training ground for leaders. Though it is only for the students of Delhi University, it is looked up to by other educational institutes. Many of the previously elected candidates have gone on to hold positions in state and central political parties and become Members of Parliament (MP) or Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and so the whole process becomes a training ground or a nursery for democratic values and electoral practice.
What will be different this year in preparation?
As we have been given this charge of electoral officers, we have already started the preparations. We are working on preparing a set of rules and regulations for the entire electoral process and publishing it on the DUSU website. We are also going to publish the procedure for candidates on how to take part in this process.
The DUSU elections are being held through Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and are currently the main focus of our committee while individual college elections will be held by college administrations with paper ballots.
We hope to ensure that all the candidates participating in the elections strictly adhere to the rules and regulations set up by the committee. They should not harm any public or private property while campaigning. Though the students do not do it intentionally, they should still make sure where they are putting up posters or any other election material as per the guidelines.
According to you, what is the importance and significance of the student union on DU campus?
There are over a lakh students studying in the university currently. If you see from the undergraduate to postgraduate level, there are 16 facilities and more than 80 departments and all these students come together to take part in the Delhi University campus elections.
More importantly, it is extremely important since it teaches the students leadership qualities and democratic values.