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Partha meets student unions on elections in colleges, varsities

Kolkata: The state Education department may bring amendments in the West Bengal Universities and Colleges (Composition, Functions and Procedure for Election of Students' Council) Rules, 2017, with all student unions including Trinamool Congress Chatra Parishad raising their voice for student unions instead of the student council.

"We have passed the Bill in the state Assembly but it has not yet turned into legislation. So provision for amendment is always there," a senior official of the Education department said.

State Education minister Partha Chatterjee on Monday held a meeting at Bikash Bhavan with all student unions and gave a patient hearing to all their opinions about elections in colleges and universities. Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), however, did not attend the meeting.

"I have noted down the opinion of all student wings that attended the meeting. The matter will be discussed at the appropriate level. We want to hold college elections as early as possible," Chatterjee said.

Representatives from Jadavpur University, which has three different unions in its different faculties, said that they want to stick with the old format of electing class representatives through student elections.

A referendum was held by the students of JU in January this year, where 97 percent of the students had voted for student unions.

The Bill that was passed stated that elections to different posts will be held directly, with the practise of electing class representatives being abolished. While bringing the Bill, the state Education department had reasoned that they wanted to put an end to complaints of misuse of funds and student conflicts over control of the corpus.

According to the system of student council, a member of the faculty council will be given the responsibility of managing the funds of a student union.

The model is similar to that adopted by St. Xavier's University, where student unions in the state's colleges and universities are to be called student councils.

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