On the last day of campaign,the two groups contesting the Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) elections this year reiterated their promises to the possible voters,even as confusion spread over whether the University had declared a half-day on account of Janmashtami celebrations or not. The elections will start from 8:30 am on Thursday morning and will go on till 1:30 pm. The results will be declared tomorrow. They are likely to be declared by 4 pm.
The Manjit-Akshaya group,which dominated the polls last year,focused mainly on the South campus today. The presidential candidate,Mohammed Khalid informed that the South campus alone accounted for more than 150 votes. The University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) accounts for 73 votes,which is the largest number in any department. Apart from this,University Dental College (UDC) holds 43 votes and University Institute of Applied Management Studies (UIAMS) has 17 voters.
Khalid said,PUTA had become inactive in the past few years. However,last year,our group had redefined the roles of PUTA,reaching out to people throughout the year,by means of e-mails and bulletins. A lot of pending work had also been completed. The group emphasized its promise of recruitment and promotions of teachers under CAS. It also highlighted the demands of female teachers by promising childcare leaves for them.
The Devinder-Mahajan group,on the other hand,had a different campaign plan on the last day. Ravi Kumar Mahajan,the presidential candidate from this group said,We will take it easy today and meet friends and well-wishers around the campus. Each vote counts and every unit in the group of teachers across the university is important to us.
Mahajan said,Our agenda,primarily including good service conditions for all teachers,is to ultimately lead to the University becoming a knowledge hub.
Cops raid hostels ahead of students elections
Security has been beefed up at the PU campus for the approaching student body polls. Surprise raids were made by the cops and PU authorities for the first time in this academic year at all eight boys hostels at 4:30 am. Dean of Students Welfare (DSW) A S Ahluwalia said that 71 outsiders were found in the hostels,staying without permission or making an entry in guest register. The students in whose rooms the outsiders were found have been fined Rs 1,000 for every entrant and warnings have been issued to them.
Sector 11 police station SHO Gurmukh Singh informed that a letter has been written to the DSW,demanding strict action against the offending students. He added that 150 cops raided the hostels in different teams. The DSW,hostel wardens and PU chief security in-charge too were part of the two-hour raids. The raids were conducted as a precautionary measure before Independence Day and the student elections on campus, said Gurmukh Singh.
Chief Security In-Charge P K Dhawan said that at a meeting held two days ago,it was decided that fresh guidelines would be issued to the student groups by the Vice-Chancellor. These rules prepared by the DSW,with inputs from various departments,are awaiting the vice-chancellors approval and will be introduced soon.
On Monday the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU),Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) and the National Students Union of India (NSUI) were charged a fine of Rs 1,000 each for putting up posters outside the law auditorium,which is not a designated place for election-related matter.