The students union of Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU) has threatened to launch a protest if voter’s identity cards are made mandatory to fill exam forms. The union welcomes the initiative to create awareness among youths about voting rights and duty, but insists that it cannot be enforced.
The University’s Vice Chancellor Dr Kishorsinh Chavda has announced that from the academic year 2022-23, students will have to upload their voter card along with exam forms. For students below the age of 18, there are alternate plans.
“This is done to create awareness among youths about voting, their rights and duty. There is no room for withdrawal of the circular or even toning it down,” the Vice Chancellor said very firmly, addressing the press.
National Students Union of India leader Bhavesh Desai has strongly opposed the decision. His objection is that “When voting is not mandatory, how can the Vice Chancellor make it mandatory to upload (the voter’s card) with exam form?”
Desai also fears that students’ voter cards can be misused in the coming elections for political purposes. He points from the circular that voter card is to be uploaded from September, “But in this very month of admission, students are not able to upload forms without voter’s card. They are paying fine for the delay.”
“If it is mandatory, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) will oppose and submit a memorandum to the Vice Chancellor requesting him to make it voluntary,” said Himalaysinh Zala, Organising Secretary of ABVP, adding that, “To create awareness about voting, the students union will work with the university, but it can’t be mandatory.”
Both union leaders stated that they will try to convince the Vice Chancellor with a memorandum, and if he does not agree, then the union will resort to protests.