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Organising games, holding fests main duties of students' unions and not giving admission: Partha

Organising games, holding fests main duties of students unions and not giving admission: Partha
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Partha Chatterjee, state Education minister, on Monday said not giving admission to students but organising games, holding cultural fests and bringing out magazines are the main duties of students' unions.

He was speaking at a meeting organised by a college on Monday afternoon.

"I was the general secretary of the students' union and during our time, the unions used to organise games and bring out magazines. With the passage of time, things have changed and now the unions are busy giving admission to students in different colleges," he said. He urged the teachers not to compromise with talent. "We have great respect for teachers but under no circumstances talent should be compromised. We cannot afford to make compromises with the quality of students," he said.

Chatterjee's statement comes at a time when clashes among students to have control over the unions have become rampant. Also, there are allegations of corruption against the students' unions who often reportedly take money from students who fail to qualify and help them to get admission in colleges. Clashes among groups of Trinamool Congress Chatra Parishad students had often turned so violent that disciplinary actions had to be taken against some of them. Recently, in Gourbanga University, the students' union had been banned following a clash between two groups of students.

It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said a few days ago that the St Xavier's College model where there are no political unions should be followed. Banerjee had also said that students' unions should give up violence.

Academicians who preferred anonymity welcomed the statement of Chatterjee but doubted whether it would be possible for him to discipline the students' unions. "Over the years, the class character of the students' unions has totally changed. Now, outsiders control the unions and the sole purpose of the unions is to help under-qualified students to get berths in colleges against heavy payment.

"This has spoilt the atmosphere in colleges but there is no one to stop this as the unions are backed by political leaders," said a renowned academician on the condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, a retired principal of a government college felt: "There should be apolitical unions. The students should cooperate with the teachers to improve the quality of education in colleges."
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