BHUBANESWAR: The students' union elections this year will be held on September 23. An announcement in this regard was made by the Department of Higher Education (DHE) on Friday.
As per the announcement, filing of nomination papers and verification would be completed on September 16. Candidates can withdraw their papers on September 18 and final list of contesting candidates would be made public by the same evening.
The 'What I Stand For' meeting has been scheduled for September 22. Students will cast the votes on September 23 and results will be declared the same day. The DHE has notified that during the election, no outsider will be allowed to take part in the process and expenditure per candidate would be `5,000.
However, campaigning in colleges had already started much before the DHE announced the date and students' groups affiliated to political parties finalised their presidential candidates. The students had also put up banners and posters of the aspirants on campus of different colleges. Meanwhile, officials in the DHE said they are reviewing the situation in colleges where elections were not held last year and a decision will be taken soon.
Last year, elections in 10 colleges across the State were called off due to campus violence. In Bhubaneswar, the colleges were BJB Autonomous College, Ekamra College, Basic Science College and City Women's College. The others were Simulia College at Balasore, Nimapara College in Nimapara, Government Autonomous College at Angul, Sadhu Goudeswar College at Jajpur, Upendranath College and Gopalpur College, both in Soro.
On the other hand, since no violence has been reported in Utkal University this year, there is a likelihood of conducting the elections. The election process was cancelled in the State's premier university
from 2012 to 2015 due to recurring violent clashes between different factions of students on campus. It was held last year after a gap of three years.
Vice-Chancellor Soumendra Patnaik said, Utkal University is ready to hold the election but security of students comes first. "If there is no violence on the campus, we do not have a problem conducting it," he said, adding that security on the campus is being increased.
Meanwhile, it has been decided that no students' union election would be held in junior colleges which have been brought under the purview of School and Mass Education Department. The State Government has decided to scrap elections in junior colleges as these are now being renamed as higher secondary schools.The Department has issued a gazette notification in this connection with effect from the academic session 2017-18.
Filing of nomination papers and verification on Sept 16
Withdrawal of papers on Sept 18
‘What I Stand For’ meeting scheduled for Sept 22
Students to vote on Sept 23
Results to be declared the same day