After putting student union polls on hold for over two years in four state universities, the West Bengal government has allowed varsities to conduct the elections whenever they deem appropriate. A letter in this regard was sent by the assistant secretary of state for Higher Education Department to the vice-chancellors of Jadavpur University, Presidency University, Rabindra Bharati University and Diamond Harbour Women's University on Thursday.
"With reference to the communication received from your end and consultations with different stakeholders, I am directed to inform you that you may hold the elections to the Students' Union/Students' Council as deemed fit," the letter read.
"We have issued a notification to hold students' union elections in the unitary universities (varsities that act as a single unit without any affiliated college under it).
The schedule of the polling will be decided by the university administration concerned," Education Minister Partha Chatterjee told reporters.
Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) has welcomed the move.
"This is a welcome development that the state government has removed road blocks in holding students' union elections in four universities," TMCP president Trinankur Bhattachaya said.
He hoped that after conduct of the students' union elections in the four unitary universities, the state government will gradually hold student body polls in other colleges and universities as well.
The students of Jadavpur University had staged sit-ins and gheraos in 2017 and 2018 demanding that the students' union polls be held. Representatives of the Students' Federation of India and the Arts Faculty Students' Union (AFSU) had twice met Mr Chatterjee over the demand.
AFSU has welcomed the move.
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