Stir hurdle for Ravenshaw to adopt alternative mode of students’ poll


Cuttack: Ravenshaw University’s attempt to adopt an alternative model of students’ representation is heading to court with Ravenshaw Bikash Abhijan (RBA) announcing it would move court after notification of the election date.

The stir in the Ravenshaw campus against the college authorities’ bid to replace students’ union with students’ council has become intense ahead of the election on 22nd and 23rd August. The students have threatened to mark August 21st as Black day.

The RBA, which is made of socio-political activists and former student leaders, has been protesting against the university’s bid to replace a single apex body such as the students’ union with student councils for each of the nine schools consisting of 34 departments.

RBA president Chittaranjan Mohanty said even as the Ministry of Human Resources Development has already issued notices to implement the September 22, 2006 Supreme Court judgment of forming Students’ Union in every college through a direct election, the Ravenshaw authorities have violated the democratic rights of students in violation of the judgment.

“We are prepared to seek judicial intervention, but we will have to wait till there is cause of action – notification for election in this case – to move the high court for implementation of the Supreme Court direction on students’ union elections,” Mohanty said today.

“We have no option but to go to court as the state government has not intervened against the move which gives a go by to the Supreme Court direction on students’ union elections,” said Mohanty, who was president of Ravenshaw College students’ union in 1971.

Vice-chancellor Prakash Chandra Sarangi had yesterday announced that August 22 had been fixed for each of the students of undergraduate (first, second and third years) and postgraduate (first and second year) courses of the different departments vote their representatives (one for each specific class) directly through secret ballot at the department level.

Sarangi said August 23 had been fixed for the representatives who will constitute the students council of the respective schools to elect through secret ballot a convenor and deputy convenor from among them.

“Introduction of the students council model of participation will only strengthen the democratic process by expanding the scope of participation,” vice-chancellor Prakash Chandra Sarangi had claimed.

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