KATHMANDU, March 20: Delay in Free Student Union (FSU) elections at Tribhuvan University (TU) and its constituent colleges has triggered anger among student unions linked with the various political parties.
Eleven student unions affiliated to various political parties on Tuesday went to the TU Vice Chancellor´s office to exert pressure for polls.
Student leaders and cadres of Nepal Student Union (NSU), All Nepal National Free Students Union and All Nepal National Independent Union-Revolutionary were among student unions that picketed the Vice Chancellor´s office, demanding that the authorities announce a fresh date for polls, said NSU coordinator Ranjit Karna.
The TU executive board had earlier agreed with the student unions to hold the FSU election on April 8, but this later became uncertain as TU´s Office of Controller of Examinations (OCE) has already published the examination date for the bachelor´s second year level. The exams will be held over one month from April 1 to 30.
Karna added that students have doubts about TU holding the polls, which have already been delayed for two years. FSU elections, which are to be held every two years, were last conducted in 2009.
However, the student unions earlier developed differences over conducting the elections through a direct electoral system. On February 26, they had signed an agreement with TU to go for a mixed electoral system.
Fourteen student unions including ANNISU-R, out of a total of 18, were initially advocating a proportional electoral system while Nepal Student Union (NSU) had been lobbying for the continuation of a simple majority system. Meanwhile, All Nepal National Free Students´ Union (ANNFSU), which is aligned to CPN-UML, had opted for a mixed system.
NSU coordinator Karna said the delay in FSU elections has prolonged the monopoly of FSU panels in the colleges. They have been in their posts for the last four years.
Though the students have been demanding polls at all TU-affiliated institutions, TU officials have agreed to carry out polls only in the constituent colleges.
Similarly, the agreement also included lifting the age bar of 30 years for election candidates.
The university has formed a 25-member committee to work on the new modality and other preparations for FSU elections, said chief of the TU Student Welfare and Sports Council (SWSC) Ganga Bahadur Thapa.
However, the TU board meeting, which was set to be called on March 3, has not been held to date, he said.
Meanwhile, the office of the TU vice chancellor has sent a letter to the office of the prime minister to call a senate meeting on March 19 for amending the law with a view to conducting FSU polls under a mixed electoral system.
Vice Chancellor Hira Bahadur Maharjan said that the letter was sent to the prime ministers´ office a week ago but it is yet to reply.
As per the TU Act, the prime minister chairs the TU senate in his capacity as chancellor. “The current chairperson of the council of ministers would attend the senate meeting in the present situation if he allows the meeting,” said VC Maharjan.
FSU has been mandated at TU constituent colleges since 1980 as per the TU Regulations on Organization and Educational Administration 1994, which were modified in 2001.
It has to perform various functions such as involving itself in academic and creative activities at the colleges and at the university, maintaining an environment of learning and protecting student rights.
Similarly, the law also obliges FSU to perform responsibilities assigned to it by the TU executive board.
|Source: Republica Daily|
Published on 2013-03-20 02:19:29
Student unions press TU for FSU polls