Millennium Post

State to bring new rules to regulate college unions

The state government is all set to change the character of students' unions in colleges in order to bring down corruption and in a bid to do so, major alterations are likely to be brought about by introducing councils.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said repeatedly to iron out corruption in the college union elections in which violence has been a regular feature, causing damage to property worth lakhs of rupees.

There is also an allegation of extortion by the unions which play major roles in college admissions. It has often been seen that students who do not meet the criteria get a chance in the colleges by paying hefty sums to the unions. The Chief Minister had stressed on the fact that action would be taken against those involved in violence in educational institutions.

It has been proposed that to become a candidate for the college union elections, one has to have 60 percent attendance. This step has been taken to ensure that the candidates attend classes regularly. Union members not attending classes and spending the whole day in common rooms will now become a matter of the past.

The elected union members will then elect a student council that will have financial powers. It may be mentioned that state Education minister Partha Chatterjee had said a few days ago that it was the responsibility of the students' union to organise cultural fests and publish the college magazine and has no business in the admission process. But over the years, it has been witnessed that the main function of the union has become involvement in college elections as "money worth lakhs of rupees is involved in the matter."

Jaya Dutta, president Trinamool Chatra Parishad (TMCP) had cautioned party members and leaders that stern action would be taken against them if they get themselves involved in college admissions.
The proposal has evoked mixed response from teachers. The majority of them said it would check corruption in college unions and the council would oversee activities of the same. They have welcomed the party's decision that action would be taken against student leaders who would get involved in the admission process of the college.

The others maintained that such steps would not help weed out corruption in the unions. They suggest that there should be apolitical college unions and their sole purpose would be to ensure improvement. They maintained that the colleges run by the Ramakrishna Mission and the Jesuit Missionaries do well academically as there are no political unions in their institutions.
Dutta hailed the move of the state government and said it would always support any step that would help the students to receive a quality education.
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