Past Panjab University presidents: Where are they nowhttps://indianexpress.com/article/education/panjab-university-student-council-elections-past-presidents-where-are-they-now-5958985/

Past Panjab University presidents: Where are they now

With the Panjab University student council elections scheduled to be held on September 6 and the campus already abuzz with activities, Chandigarh Newsline takes a look at where are former Presidents are at the moment. 

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In Picture, Panjab University. File Photo

From a professor to an MLA to a senator, leaders who were elected as Presidents of Panjab University Student council in the past have moved ahead — some in the same field while some in altogether different areas.

With the Panjab University student council elections scheduled to be held on September 6 and the campus already abuzz with activities, Chandigarh Newsline takes a look at where are former Presidents are at the moment.

Amit Bhatia, Professor

Amit Bhatia, who was elected as the President of the PU Student council in 2009-10, is working as a Professor at DAV College sector 10 today. When he contested the elections from SOPU party, Bhatia was a student of MBA in the PU.

A topper from Chandigarh in Class XII in the commerce stream, it was Bhatia who actually fought to get voting rights for the students of UIAMS. It was then he thought of contesting the polls and defeated the PUSU candidate Arshbeer Johal.

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“In 2006, I contested from SD College as well while I was doing my BCom. But somehow my CAT track got a little affected after I got into college politics. Then when I joined the University, I again felt inspired to contest the polls and won.”

Bhatia lost his dad after that and went ahead to pursue his career, not politically. “Today, I feel we are deviating from the actual issues in PU polls. Nobody talks of employment today. Even in the senate, no one talks about students. During my time, I had an employment fest conducted and over 200 students were placed,” he said.

Dalvir Singh Goldy- MLA Dhuri, Sangrur District

In the year 2006, Dalvir Singh Goldy was elected President of the PU Student council. Goldy represented the SOPU party. Today, he is one of the youngest MLAs of Punjab from Congress party.

A student of History, Goldy’s first stint in the political field was when he contested as Class Representative in SD College in 2002. After winning that, he was chosen as President of Student Union Of Punjab University (SOPU) to represent them in college elections as college president in 2003-2004. Goldy then joined Punjab University, Chandigarh, and was elected as the President of Punjab University Campus Student Counsel in the year 2006-2007.

“Later, I joined the Youth Congress in 2007 and for ten years, I worked for the party — be it Youth Congress elections in Mumbai or Haryana. In 2017, I was fielded as the legislative assembly candidate in Dhuri and won with a thumping margin,” he said.

For Goldy who didn’t have any political background, things did not come easy. Not even a distant relative of mine was in politics. “I totally had a non-political background. But as it is said ‘when you have that will of doing something, you make it'” he said.

Divyanshu Budhiraja, State President NSUI Haryana

Divyanshu Budhiraja was elected as the PU President in 2014. Today, he is working as the State President of Haryana NSUI. In 2017, he was elected as the President of NSUI Haryana.

Budhiraja, was a student of engineering & electronics and communication and got admission in the Panjab University through the AIEEE. He joined NSUI in 2013 under the leadership of Congress leader Deepinder Hooda.

After serving as the PU President, this engineering student decided to make politics as his full-time career. He works with Congress leader Deepinder Hooda in Haryana at the moment and has a new task at hand- Haryana Vidhan sabha elections.

“As President of the youth congress wing in Haryana, we are trying if youth leaders get tickets in the coming Vidhan Sabha polls. I feel more and more educated people are jumping in the mainstream politics now and that is really inspiring for all of us,” Divyanshu said.

The former PU President says that he comes from a non-political background. “All four members in my family are government employees. Infact, the day I was elected as the President, then they got to know that I had contested these polls. I did face a lot of resistance because I have an engineering background and going ahead in politics was a big no-no for me but the obsession to serve people brought me here and will take me further ahead I believe,” he said.

Budhiraja was the one who observed hunger strike in March 2015 against PU Authorities and a no-confidence motion was moved against him for the first time.

Dr. Dayal Partap Singh Randhawa, Advocate and President of Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association.

Randhawa, a law student of that time remained the President of PU Student council in the years 1998-99 and 1999-2000. Randhawa is the founder of SOPU party.

Today, Randhawa is a renowned advocate in the High Court. He was elected as the President of Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association in April this year for the term of 2019-20.

“I feel, one learns a lot from the “student activism”, as the foundation of sense of service comes from there. Especially in this present era, we must focus on having this ‘nursery of leadership’ to grow with full dedication, honesty & zeal to serve the society & nation at large. Some of my colleagues & juniors of my timeline are into full-time politics at state level & national level, And they are doing really well,” he said.

Randhawa said, “After completion of my law studies, I just got into legal practice in High Court & Supreme Court of India. I am also representing ‘Registered Graduates Constituency’ in PU House of Senate at the moment,” he said.

Nishant Kaushal, joined ABVP now

Nishant Kaushal was the PU President in 2016-17 from PUSU party. Only yesterday, he joined the ABVP.

He belongs to Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. For Kaushal, PU is like his second home. It has been thirteen years in the Panjab University now and is continuously working for the students’ welfare.

He is doing his PhD in Biotechnology and feels that mainstream politics is his aim.

In this polls too, Kaushal is working hard for the ABVP now. “I feel student politics is the foundation if you want to go into mainstream politics. I liked the ideology of the BJP and that is why I went ahead to join the ABVP. Going into mainstream politics is my aim irrespective of any factor,” he said.

Jashan Kamboj, Research scholar

In 2017-18, Jashan served as the President of PU student council from NSUI.

Today, even as he has cleared his UGC Net and is pursuing PhD in management, the urge to work for students is still in him.

“This time in the polls too, I am actively working for NSUI. I will go ahead for full-time politics itself. In my term as a president, I saw many struggles such as fee hike issue, sanitation issues, placements, girls security. My family is very supportive in every career I want to pursue. They want me to be good in academics as well as raise the issues of the students,” he said.

Jashan Kamboj won the president’s post with 2,801 votes, defeating by 611 votes his nearest rival Hassanpreet Kaur of SFS, who bagged 2,190 votes.

Chandan Rana, General Secretary of Himachal Pradesh Youth Congress

Chandan Rana was the first one from NSUI, first among Research Scholars and first from Himachal Pradesh to be elected as the President of PU Student Council in 2013-14. Today, he is working as the General Secretary of Himachal Pradesh Youth Congress. Earlier he was the National Coordinator of NSUI. Rana was then a student of PhD in Biophysics when he contested the polls.

“I got my degree in 2016. For some period I was not able to decide between research and politics as career.  But as I aim to enter into full-time politics, I went ahead in this field. I did face a lot of restrictions from parents because having one of the prestigious degrees and then not going in for a job was a concern for them,” Rana said.

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He added, “But my passion and sense of responsibility brought me to enter state politics and I am the General Secretary of HP Youth Congress now. Both my parents were into government service and retired now.  Whenever I get an opportunity, I will contest the polls as well.”