Varsity deprives students' union of rulebook

Almost a fortnight after the Patna University Students' Union (Pusu) election, members of the newly formed body are groping in the dark over the duties they have to perform as elected delegates representing the pupils.

Reason: The Pusu is yet to get its constitution or a rulebook, which the elected members have to follow to perform their duties.

The Pusu election was held on December 11. A week later, the elected members took oath. Since then, the members are deprived of the necessary handbook that would guide them to carry out Pusu's functions smoothly.

All India Students' Federation (AISF)-backed candidate Anshu Kumari, who has been elected to the post of Pusu general secretary, said: "All the elected central panel (top five posts at the university-level) members have met the varsity officials several times requesting them to provide the students' union a constitution or a rulebook. Every time the officials make some excuse, failing to provide us the constitution."

According to Anshu, with no rulebook in hand, the representatives are totally unaware about their rights and duties.

"Leave aside a rulebook, even after 15 days of the election, the Pusu members are yet to get an office where meetings and other such work could be carried out," she added.

Patna University vice-chancellor Shambu Nath Singh during the presidential debate on December 10 had promised to allot space on the varsity campus that could be used as the Pusu office by the elected members.

"It has been almost 15 days that a new union has been formed but no space has been allocated for us where we can meet and discuss issues regarding students' problems," said president of the union Ashish Sinha.

He added that since the winter vacation has started, chances are vague that the Pusu would get a constitution or an office this year.

Under such circumstances, the elected members are worried that they would have to race against time to fulfil their promises to the students who had voted them to power.

The newly elected union suffers from time constraints too. According to Lyngdoh Committee recommendations, the elected body of the students' union will have to be dissolved with the beginning of a new academic session. In such a situation, the term of the new office-bearers will expire by July-end. This leaves them with only a seven-month tenure.

U.K. Sinha, the chairman of the students' union election committee, said: "Surely there is a time constraint for the new members. However, if they are united at will, issues like improvement of academic atmosphere, providing better drinking water, construction of washrooms in colleges and security upgrade for women students can be achieved."

The elected members, too, feel if they work collectively, many issues can be resolved.

Pusu president Sinha said: "Complaint boxes for students will be put up at all the colleges and departments by January. We will work jointly to ensure the students' welfare."

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