With just a week to go before Delhi University conducts its students’ union elections, two students’ groups released their manifestos on Thursday. Campaigning for the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections, scheduled on September 12, also picked up momentum.
Meanwhile, Left-leaning All India Students’ Association (AISA) announced their final candidates on Thursday.
In the manifesto released by Congress-backed National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), right to accommodation has been given top priority. “NSUI will focus on two burning issues — right to accommodation and fight against racial discrimination. DU has about 95 acres of barren land and we want the university administration to use it to build more hostels. We also demand that the government make changes in the Delhi Rent Control Act so that the rent is regulated and students are not harassed,” NSUI spokesperson Amrish Ranjan Pandey said.
Issues such as accommodation for students, re-introduction of re-evaluation of answer scripts, facilities for students with disabilities, scholarships for economically weaker sections, grievance redressal committees for sexual harassment and racial discrimination feature on both manifestos.
Incidentally, the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) is missing from NSUI’s manifesto, even though the group had earlier tried to take credit for its rollback. AISA, on the other hand, has demanded that problems faced by BTech students admitted under the FYUP be looked into.
AISA’s manifesto also talks about reforming the DUSU election system. “Effective forums of debate such as general body meetings and presidential debates in cluster of colleges should be created so that students can make an informed choice while voting. The move will also ensure that money, muscle, glamour and DJ parties do not dominate the election process,” Sunny Kumar, AISA Delhi state secretary, said.
Of the four AISA candidates, the top two have been part of the anti-FYUP struggle. Madhurim is AISA’s presidential candidate while Aman Nawaz is the vice-presidential candidate.