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Featured Image: A poster put up by the agitating students at Jadavpur University.   

By A Newsman

Kolkata, 11 August: EVEN as the student unrest against proposed introduction of nominated students’ council continues at Jadavpur University for the second consecutive day, students of two more universities in Kolkata have now joined in the protest.

This notwithstanding, state education minister Partha Chatterjee has said that the government would not take back the decision as it was aimed at curbing student clashes on campus and facilitate a conducive ambience for studies.

While JU students are on an indefinite sit-in since yesterday that compelled the V-C and other senior officials stay back on the campus overnight, students of Aliah University and Presidency University began demonstration on their campuses today noon.

At Aliah University, the agitating students prevented the vice-chancellor and deans of schools from entering the campus. They even jostled with police who tried to make a passage for the V-C.

At Presidency University, the students gheraoed the dean of students for hours this afternoon, demanding that the varsity should turn down the state’s directive in writing.

The students of all the three universities say that the prosed councils, whose members would be nominated by the authorities, would rob the students the right to raise their voices against any anti-student decision like abrupt hike in fee. They are citing Kharagpur IIT where there is no elected union and thus the management made a steep hike in hostel and mess fees earlier this year.

Left-leaning Jadavpur University Teachers’ Union (JUTA) and All Bengal College Teachers’ Union (ABUTA) have extended their support to the agitating students. They feel that an elected student union is a democratic right of the students.

In March this year, the Trinamool ruled state government enacted the West Bengal Universities and Colleges (Administration and Regulation) Act, empowering itself the right to formulate rule as regards formation of students’ body in the colleges and universities.

Subsequently, the government issued a directive stating that now on, the elected students’ union shall be replaced by that of nominated councils.