Having banned the Open House and car rallies that were the hallmark of the student elections at Panjab University,Vice-Chancellor Arun Grover has suggested other methods of campaigning. He has proposed campaigning on the PU website and through community radio station.
However,the student leaders are not impressed. They say seeking votes personally has no match.
Elections in the previous years have seen car rallies by student parties with each trying to ensure better numbers than the other. These were banned this year. While the Open House which was a platform for debate among the parties was banned a few years back after instances of violence.
As per the proposal by the V-C,candidates contesting the student council elections in the varsity will be allowed to upload the power-point presentations prepared by them on the official website. However,this would be available only after nominations are filed by the candidates and a final date of the elections is announced.
The proposal has not found favour with the student leaders. Most of us do not even listen to the radio,so I wonder how we will able to extend our voter base, says Ravinder Singh Dhaliwal,party president,Panjab University Students Union. The university should start the Open House once again,as there can be no other medium which can replace it. It allowed the student leaders to engage in public debate which helped the students decide which party they should vote for.
Prabhpreet,president,Students Federation of India,says,The use of website is quite debatable,considering its practicality. It seems one of those far-fetched ideas by the authorities. But allowing us to record in the radio station might prove useful.
Over the years the varsity has been banning various activities during the elections. Posters and banners that were perceived to be a cause for violence were banned several years back. The Lyngdoh committee recommendations,when put into place,also toned down the election fervour among the students.
Though campaigning on Facebook and through whatsapp has picked up,students feel that these are interactive methods and get them instant reactions. However,simply uploading a presentation on the varsitys website would not serve much purpose,they say.
However,a few student leaders have welcomed the move saying that the university is at least thinking on behalf of the student organisations. Somveer Singh,president,Indian National Student Organization,If we are allowed to upload information of the candidates,then it might prove useful.