CHANDIGARH: After 34 years, Punjab Government has decided that the student bodies’ elections will be held in universities and colleges across the state.
In his reply on the governor’s address in the Punjab assembly here today Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh announced that from the next academic year student union elections will be held in the universities and colleges in the state.
He said that the direct elections to student unions will now be held. "Congress had promised revival of student elections. We are fulfilling the promise,” Amarinder said.
He pointed out that these elections were suspended over three decades in the past due to disturbed law and order but with the state now returning to peace and normalcy, these elections would take place regularly, as were being held in Panjab University, Chandigarh and Delhi University.
He said that students' union elections would be held in Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjabi University, Patiala and Punjab Technical University along with their affiliated colleges.
Amarinder also reiterated his government’s commitment to set up a Regulatory Authority to regulate the functioning of all Private and Public Universities and Colleges in the State. A Group of Ministers was in the process of finalizing the draft after consultations with stakeholders, he added.
An Advisory Group comprising eminent educationists to suggest measures to improve the standards of higher education in the State was also under process, said the Chief Minister, listing out a series of initiatives taken by his government to improve the state’s education systems at both, school and college, university levels.
In 1984 the state government had banned the student union elections in the state due to militancy and turmoil in Punjab. From time to time in the past various political parties have been demanding the revival of student elections.
No such election was allowed since then despite the repeated promises of SAD, Congress and other political parties during Punjab Assembly elections in the past.
Last month only the neighbouring state of Haryana had lifted its ban on student elections after 22 years following which chorus for doing the same in Punjab became stronger.
The Haryana Government has announced to hold the elections to the students bodies in Universities and colleges of the state from next session. Capt Bhupinder Singh OSD to CM Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar had said that the state government decided to allow the conduct of elections to the student bodies from the next academic session 2018-2019.
Elections for student unions in the state had not been after 1996, when these were stopped by then Bansi Lal Government in Haryana. Present Education Minister Ram Bilas was Education Minister then too.
During state assembly elections of 2014 the BP had promised to hold these elections after coming to power.