Students across the country might have found issues to get agitated about, but those contesting the upcoming Delhi University Students' Union elections are still to rise above petty politics.

With the elections turning into a slanging-match among student outfits, the University saw its first major incident during the campaign period and as usual a police complaint was lodged. Alleging that Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) vice-president Vikas was involved in beating up a National Students' Union of India (NSUI) supporter at Kirori Mal College, NSUI has accused ABVP of being "teacher killers and student beaters''.

While the accusation might have a certain sinister ring to it, ABVP for its part has maintained that none of its activists were involved.

"Not a single ABVP member is involved in the incident. The NSUI is acting like this as it is frustrated because they are losing the elections. They have been exposed. The general student has now decided to beat them up for their lack of performance,'' said ABVP general secretary Nakul Bharadwaj.

While DUSU elections might still be a relatively "bipolar affair", there are other student outfits that are offering some sort of option, even if not much competition.

The United Students' Front -- formed with Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha and Students' Federation of India (SFI) -- is contesting the polls to provide an issue-based alternative to the money and muscle power politics of NSUI and ABVP.

It has promised to fight against the fee increase that is a "serious obstacle'' in pursuing higher education.

The Front has put up Mukut Sharma from Kirori Mal College as its presidential candidate, Bani Gill from Hindu College for vice-president, Arjun Arya from Motilal Nehru College for general secretary, and Nida Khan from Law Centre for joint secretary.

"The presidential candidate we put up last year, Harpreet Kaur Gill, polled the third highest number of votes. So we can't totally be discounted,'' says Dhananjay, a SFI member.

Apart from the United Students' Front, the Indian National Students' Organisation is also hoping to make a difference this time.

Taking a stand against politicisation of the elections, INSO has put up Chandini Luthra as its presidential candidate.

Making his debut as independent candidate, Parvesh Choudhury, formerly of NSUI, has decided to go solo this time round.

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Kamala Nehru College is going all out to give a healthy twist to consumerism. Arming its students with their rights, the college is making them aware so that they can successfully and responsibly negotiate the market. To fulfil this aim, the college has organised a one-day event with the National Consumer Helpline and the Consumer Club of the college on Thursday.

The chief guest at the function will be the Joint Secretary in the Central Department of Consumer Affairs, Rinchen Tempo.

Apart from launching an awareness drive, the college has also introduced a new paper on consumer affairs for B.Com (Honours) and B.A (Pass) students. About 20 students have already opted for the paper.

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Looking at the Iranian nuclear issue from an academic point of view, the Academy of Third World Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia organised a panel discussion on ``Geopolitics, Security and the Nuclear Issue: Iran, India and the Gulf Region'' earlier this week.

While the Iranian nuclear issue has generated a great deal of debate, there is a need to assess the situation objectively, eliminating America from the prism.

The aim of the discussion was to bring in these aspects into the framework.

-- Mandira Nayar

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