Students with 60% attendance will be able to contest polls
Kolkata: State Education minister Partha Chatterjee said on Sunday that the government will go forward with its decision of the students' council and under the new format, only those with 60 percent attendance will be allowed to contest the elections.
Chatterjee, who attended a foundation stone laying ceremony of Sadhanpur Jiban Krishna Mahavidyalaya at Amdanga in North 24 Parganas, said: "We will go forward with the students' council and only those with 60 percent attendance will be allowed to take part in the election process for posts such as the general secretary and assistant general secretary."
According to Chatterjee, elections to these posts will be held directly and the practice of electing class representatives will be abolished.
The government has already issued a notification in this regard. "Under the new system, a member of the faculty council will be given the responsibility to manage the funds of a students' union and there will be no elections to class representatives," an official of the Higher Education department said.
The new model is similar to that adopted by St Xavier's University where students' unions in the state's colleges and universities are to be called students' councils.
According to a leading educationist, the decision of the government comes in the wake of clashes during student union elections at colleges across Bengal, including Kolkata.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier described the yearly students' union elections as "a waste of energy".
She had said: "I think holding college union elections every year is a waste of energy. I will ask the Education minister to consider if the St Xavier's model can be adopted. The Xavier's model is good." Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi had also lauded the Xavier's model.
However, a section of students at Jadavpur University and Presidency University have agitated demanding that students' unions should consist of elected representatives.
Chatterjee, in his address, also advised the students to maintain discipline and show respect to the teachers for a congenial atmosphere in the educational institutions. Urging the teachers to maintain regularity, he said mobile phones should not be used while taking classes. "Use of mobile phones distract the attention of the teacher as well as the students," he added.
Elaborating on the government's stand, a top official of the Education department said that the government may soon bring out a notification that teachers will be allowed to carry their mobile phones to schools but while taking classes, they would have to keep them in switched off mode at some earmarked place or deposit the same with the headmaster of the school.