Regulations for Student Elections
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How student elections are carried on
Student associations across all of India have geared up to woo potential voters and engage in excessive propaganda. Students are offered petty virtual bribes in the form of discount coupons, vouchers, movie tickets and the like to gain their support. Lengthy and fancy manifestos are presented, only to be discarded as trash later. Not only are lakhs of rupees literally wasted, the contesting candidates are mostly people who do not have any credibility, educationally or competence-wise. There are absolutely hardly any strict regulations and candidates once elected, disappear from the scene soon after the elections.
Worst of these situations is how terribly they vandalize the campuses. Beautiful college walls, metro stations, roads, bus stands and almost everything is destroyed by an uncountable number of posters & pamphlets and clumsy spray painting.
These campaigners, thriving on political connections, who do not have even a little regard for basic civic sense, or lack the required academic proficiency, or indulge in money and muscle power, do not deserve to represent the students of the whole university.
A few years ago, the Lyngdoh Committee had proposed these very reforms (http://www.ugc.ac.in/oldpdf/students_pdf/lyngdoh_committeemhrd2712.pdf including banning the use of posters or any printed material, 75% compulsory attendance of candidates contesting elections, limit of Rs 5000 of election expenses per candidate, etc. and till date, there has been no change.
Some suggested reforms are as follows:
1. While assessing the candidature-
a) 30% weight-age to college-attendance, which should be at least 50% over two semesters.
b) 50% weight-age to profile of the candidate, extra-academic skills relevant to leadership & initiative taking.
c) 20% weight-age to marks obtained by the candidate (at least 55% aggregate at any given point of time)
2. Cap of Rs. 10,000 per candidate on election expenses.
3. Ban on using poster or print material for campaigning or spray painting, scribbling, markers etc on university walls, roads, poles and the like.
4. Disqualify candidates who have a criminal record or any academic arrears.
5. Contesting candidates ONLY should be allowed to present the manifesto.
Thousands of like-minded people will agree that we need these strict reforms for a better campus, that we can be proud of being a part of. Please stand with me to ban malpractices in student elections, especially condemning the criminal wastage of paper and resources degrading the environment as well as the beauty of the campuses.
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