The Syndicate of Maharaja Sayajirao University here is in the process of holding the University student union elections that were suspended by a local Vadodara court in August 2014. The Syndicate, which met late evening Thursday, has initiated a process for “incorporating additional rule” that conform to the Lyndoh Committee recommendations for University elections, with an aim to conduct the annual student union election on August 31, this year.
The MSU student union elections were suspended on August 22, 2014, following a petition in the local court by Law Faculty student, Chataniya Limbachiya, stating that MSU elections violated the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations. Limbachiya had won the case, day before the election, on August 22, 2014 with the local Vadodara court ordering a stay on the elections. On Thursday evening, the MSU Syndicate deliberated on including the recommendations of the 2006 Lyngdoh Committee, set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) as per the direction of the Supreme Court to reform students’ union elections to eliminate unfair practices and misuse of political power. The case for enforcement of Lyngdoh Committee was filed against the University due to lack of uniformity in the student electoral system.
Syndicate Member Jigar Inamdar told The Indian Express that the Student union elections was the right of students and the Syndicate was working to finalize uniform pattern for the annual elections. Inamdar said, “We have decided to regularize the elections every year and hold them on August 31. We also discussed the need to incorporate additional rules and submit a report in the lower court after having a discussion within the committee on Monday. If the case against the University that stayed the 2014 elections is not dismissed, we will move the High Court.”
The additional set of rules that MSU Syndicate discussed to conform to the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations include 80% attendance for all contesting candidates. Inamdar added, “The new rules to include, 80% attendance of all the registered candidates, increase in number of female candidates as well as a limit of expenditures for all parties contesting the elections. They will also need to show their expenses and no teacher will be involved as a treasurer-member. We will also reduce the notification period to 10 days instead of the existing 21 days, to conform to the Lyngdoh committee report.”
Limbachiya, in a telephone interview from New Delhi, said MSU would need the consent order of the court before conducting any student elections. Limbachiya said, “I am not aware about this Syndicate decision. However, if the University conducts the elections, they would have to do so with the consent of court. To conform to the recommendations, they would need at least two years to conduct student union elections.” Purvesh Borole, a student of Commerce Faculty, who was elected the University General Secretary in the last elections in 2013 hailed the decision of the Syndicate. Borole said, “Students election is essential as it enables the elected representative to address every student’s problem in the University and be their mediator to the authorities.”
The Syndicate committee will now meet on Monday to discuss the road ahead for MSU student union elections.