In an attempt to woo young voters, especially the students in Punjab, all the major parties announced a slew of schemes ranging from creating new jobs to providing monetary support to those seeking employment. While the Congress party in its manifesto promised free education for girls until PhD, AAP said it will distribute free laptops to all government school students. But do these populist measures guarantee support of students to any party? indianexpress.com spoke to students of Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar to understand their expectations from their political leaders.
Creating job opportunities and providing better education facilities are the two major issues these students want the next government to focus on. “Most of the universities in Punjab are in a poor condition and their degrees are not valued by the employers,” said Venus Sharma, a computer science student. Talking about the promises made in elections manifestos, she said that the political parties have been promising things which are our basic needs. “We are citizens of this country and it is their duty to provide us all these facilities. Instead of making such promises, they should come up with more creative ideas to further development process in the state,” she added.
Some of the students, who will vote for the first time on February 4, said that technological advancement should be used to make the voting process easier which will in turn attract more young voters. “There should be an app through which we can access all the information about a candidate or a party,” said a student from computer science department.
For girl students, the under-representation of women in politics is also crucial. “Girls find it tough to get employed in different sectors. In selection for sports, boys are given preference over girls because of their physical strength,” said Navdeep Kaur, a first-year student in the university. She added that for girls the choices were extremely limited after graduating from school as their is only one women’s college and one university in Amritsar.