Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday called for a “merit-based” representation of student leaders in educational institutions and urged to separate politics from varsities to avoid increasing violence by student organisations.
During his interaction with the NAAC team who is visiting Himachal Pradesh University, Singh said, politics has become “bane” of the universities across the country with elections marked with violence and turbulence.
“I agree that there should be representation of student leaders but it should be on the basis of merit and totally opposed to demand of student organisations for direct elections in institutions of higher education as it vitiates the academic atmosphere,” Singh said.
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There are mischief mongers who enroll themselves for registering their presence in the campus and indulge in politics, spoiling the academic peace, Singh said, adding that “growing violence in universities and colleges, pose unseen threat to the education system and should be controlled by adopting necessary steps.”
“Being a student of St Stephen college (Delhi) I never took part in student politics though we had our own student body elected on merit,” he said and appealed for maintaining discipline in the campus.
He also asked the teachers not to impose their political ideology on students.
The Chief Minister said: “The teachers should refrain from showing their political leanings in universities and they have no right and business to involve in student union elections.”
“It is high time that we must separate politics from educational institutions. I had passion for education and no intention of entering into politics and wanted to be a professor in Delhi University, if I would not have been there, may be in some other university,” he said.
Singh said: “It was Lal Bahadur Shashtri who took me to Smt Indira Gandhi and to Jawaharlal Nehru and was told that I was being given Lok Sabha ticket from Mahasu constituency and it was from where my political career began.”
The Chief Minister also said land had been identified near Ghannahatti for setting up another campus of university as there was no scope of expansion at the present site. New hostels, education blocks would come up there.
He said the financial assistance for the university had been enhanced from Rs 79 to Rs 90 crore and more grants would be given soon.
The state government was committed to strengthen the education sector in the state and had opened or upgraded over 1,010 schools in the state during last 45 months taking the total strength of schools to 15,500.