The university was also very clear that participation will be restricted only to its students and that outside forces will not be tolerated.

After a long gap of six years, Jamia Millia Islamia will soon have some sort of student representation, if not a complete students’ union, if all goes according to plan.

Committee constituted

“A committee was constituted by the university to look into the matter of students’ union elections. The committee, made up of senior faculty members and one outside professor, has submitted a report recommending that student representatives be elected from different departments. We will have student associations and not just one students’ union like before,” said Vice-Chancellor Najeeb Jung on Sunday.

The university was also very clear that participation will be restricted only to its students and that outside forces will not be tolerated.

“There will be no outside forces or parties with political affiliations. We are very sure about one thing — the associations will be made up of and by only the students,” added Mr. Jung

The university had dissolved the students’ union way back in 2006, ostensibly to prevent violence.

According to some students, a show-down between the then students’ union president and the Proctor had prompted the dissolution.

The Vice-Chancellor had in January completely ruled out students’ union elections following a spate of scuffles inside and outside the university, in which several students were injured.

The issue of students’ elections has also been the subject of several Right to Information applications and even a High Court case instituted by a student, following which the university was forced to re-consider its stand.

“Nothing is final just yet. First we will have to get the High Court’s approval for the committee’s recommendations, our Executive Council has already agreed in principle. After the Court’s nod, we need formal approval of the Executive Council and then we send the documents for approval of the President [Pranab Mukherjee, who is also the Visitor of the university. Only after his approval can the university make changes in its constitution,” the Vice-Chancellor added.

He also said the elected associations will hold regular meetings with the Vice-Chancellor and Dean Students’ Welfare to democratically discuss issues.

Students elated

On the other hand, the students are elated over the development as they feel that long-standing issues like higher fees and lack of adequate hostel accommodation will be solved with active students’ representation.

“We will be the happiest if elections are held in a fair manner. We have held protests, signature campaigns and filed RTI applications, all for restoration of the students’ union. Representation in any form is a positive step,” said a student activist of the All- India Students’ Association.

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