Students protest, demand union polls

The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of the Congress party, organized demonstrations in front of various degree colleges and universities in the state, including the capital, to call for student union elections.

According to Yashir Nawaz, the state president of NSUI, they have been demanding campus elections since 2018 but their pleas have been ignored. He criticized the government authorities for their lack of action and compared them to being in a deep sleep. Yashir participated in the protests held at Utkal University, BJB Autonomous College, DR Nayapalli College, and other colleges, stating that students are being deprived of their democratic rights due to the government’s refusal to hold campus elections in the state.

Yashir further expressed concerns about the student wing of the ruling party, accusing them of creating problems on campuses instead of helping students. He highlighted the increasing violence on campuses and emphasized that there are numerous issues affecting higher education institutions.

Yashir also pointed out the acute shortage of teaching and non-teaching staff in higher educational institutions. He mentioned that without student representatives, these issues are not being addressed as campus elections have been halted since 2018. He emphasized the need for campus elections to be reinstated.

The Biju Chhatra Janata Dal has established campus committees to assist students at various degree colleges and universities. Other student organizations have also set up help desks at different institutions. In July, students from various higher education institutions and their supporting organizations demanded the state government and institutional authorities to hold student union elections.