Before elections next year, PU plans to raise the campaigning expenditure which is currently capped at ₹5,000
While the Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) elections this year are being conducted strictly in line with the Lyngdoh guidelines, varsity authorities plan to tweak parts of it ahead of the elections next year.
Speaking about this, dean students welfare (DSW) Jatinder Grover said, “The currently allowed campaigning expenditure ( ₹5,000 per party) needs to be adjusted for inflation. We hope to increase it up to ₹25,000 next year. Another grey area is supplementary exams. Candidates often abandon a course where they have to appear in supplementary exams to be eligible as per Lyngdoh rules and enrol in a new course to contest in elections. We will put a stop to this.”
A committee will be formed to suggest the changes, which will ultimately need PU senate’s approval before they are enforced at the varsity.
For years, various student bodies at the university have also expressed the need to overhaul the guidelines, especially ban on recontesting, mandatory 75% attendance and upper age limit to contest elections.
Recommended by a committee, headed by former chief election commissioner JM Lyngdoh, in 2005, the guidelines were accepted by the Supreme Court in 2006. PU has been following them since 2012 without any changes.
According to the guidelines, only undergraduate students between the ages of 17 and 22 may contest the elections. For postgraduate students, the maximum age limit is 24 to 25 and for research students, it is 28.
NSUI Chandigarh president and municipal councillor Sachin Galav said, “Under the Lyngdoh guidelines, a candidate can contest in an election only once, irrespective of win or loss. But there is no such limit on MLAs or MPs. Even the Prime Minister can continue for multiple successive terms.”
BJP councillor and former ABVP general secretary at PU Maheshinder Singh Sidhu said, “The election process also needs an overhaul. There should be indirect elections, where the department representatives (DRs) elect the president of the student council. This will make the poll process student-centric again.”