Student union elections in the University of Hyderabad (UoH) are due tomorrow, November 9, and students are excited. The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), which is the student wing of the Indian National Congress, has put forth Amal Jose Philip as its presidential candidate.
Speaking about his stance in the polls, Amal says his organisation doesn’t support only a particular community but stands by them all. “We are a liberal democratic student organisation,” he emphasises.
What led you to contest the elections?
The campus has seen several social justice movements, for example, the one over Rohith Vemula’s death. It is a democratic space. But lately, there has been a massive ideological debate between two student organisations, and there has been a disturbance.
There is the fascist ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) and on the opposite end is the SFI (Students’ Federation of India). While ABVP goons had recently sparked violence on entering the south canteen, the SFI has failed to deliver its promises. At a time when the assassination of Bapu is being removed from textbooks and education is under threat, the NSUI is contesting to restore the democratic space, which was advocated in our Constitution. We want to bring it to our campus.
What are the issues you are fighting for?
Our manifesto has a broad four-point agenda. If we win, these are the changes we promise:
1. A transgender policy – We want gender inclusivity. So we will ensure a policy for education of all genders and sexual minorities
2. Complete automation of lending and renewal of books at IGML library
3. A standardised procedure for the recognition of student societies and clubs
4. A monthly cultural event: Currently, the university has only one cultural fest and a literary fest per year, which are not enough
What other issues will you address?
The manifesto mentions them.
According to the manifesto shared by Amal, NSUI will be addressing a large number of issues related to academics, co-curricular, infrastructure and residential facilities.
For academics, the top five promises are:
1. We will ensure that there is no failure from the side of the administration in implementing reservation rules prescribed for all courses.
2. We shall fight for the recruitment of permanent faculty in all departments which are currently understaffed.
3. We will propose the implementation of deprivation points for students from backward regions of India. The model followed by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) can be adopted.
4. We will fight for the timely disbursal of all fellowships provided by the university, including DAG and non-NET fellowships.
5. We shall demand that all issues pertaining to the SAMARTH portal be resolved immediately.
For extra-curriculars, the top five promises are:
1. A night cup will be proposed for badminton and tennis.
2. Trials for the university teams will be more regular.
3. Women’s university teams will be ensured for more sports events.
4. A union under our leadership will collaborate with local businesses to raise funds for conducting Sukoon.
5. The literary festival organised by the Students’ Union 2023 was substandard. A union under our leadership will take this up seriously and organise a literary festival in a much better way.
For infrastructure and residential facilities, the top five promises are:
1. We will pursue the immediate construction of the already approved two hostels.
2. The administration has been evading its responsibility of providing safe accommodation for gender-neutral and transgender students. We will ensure that at least a floor of the newly constructed hostels is reserved as Gender Neutral hostels.
3. All hostels should have adequate facilities for disabled students, including ramps, disabled-friendly washrooms, and entrances. Our efforts will be focussed on the same.
4. Sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators will be installed in all locations as required.
5. We shall ensure that massive landfills piling up due to waste disposal behind LH 9&10 will be addressed. A better waste disposal system will be introduced.
Besides, the manifesto promises separate agendas for marginalised students and for ensuring democracy on the campus.
NSUI candidates contesting this year are:
President: Amal Jose Philip
Vice- President: Mukund Kumar
General Secretary: Sriram Yadav
Joint Secretary: Chandan Dawar
Cultural Secretary: Srida
Sports Secretary: Muhammed Nadran V