Presidency University students protest on council issue

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Kolkata, Aug 16 (IANS) A section of Presidency University students on Wednesday protested against the West Bengal government’s directive to replace the existing students union with a nominated students council.

While the varsity’s students union demanded the directive should not be adhered to as per the Universities and Colleges (Administration and Regulation) Bill, 2017, authorities maintained the decision as per the provisions of the Act was “non-negotiable”.

“The provisions that allow the Vice Chancellor to nominate the President and Vice President from among the faculty automatically prevents the students union from being a representation of the students’ interests and make it a mouthpiece of the authority,” the All India Students Association (Presidency University) said.

The Students Federation of India’s varsity unit had submitted a memorandum to the Dean of Students last week on the issue.

Authorities have agreed to meet students on the issue in September’s first week, said Registrar Debajyoti Konar.

The state government has rolled out a new “apolitical” system of students union elections across all state-aided colleges and varsities in June instead of the elected students body.

Under the new model, a teacher in every institution will be responsible for handling funds allowed to the students council.

A union will have office-bearers ranging from seven to over 10, depending on the size of the college.

This month, students of Jadavpur University had also protested against the decision, laying siege to the Vice Chancellor’s office for over 30 hours.

–IANS

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