Student Politics in India: Issues and Challenges

A Dialogue wit Student Leaders

Also available in Deutsch

On 28th November 2017 the India Office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) conducted a joint workshop on student politics in India. It was a rare occasion to have had newly elected Student leaders from various Indian Universities belonging to different student party lines and ideologies at the same platform to discuss and deliberate on issues of concern that matter most to student politics in the Universities of India today.

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Group photo of the participants of the workshop

Group photo of the participants of the workshop

Peter Rimmele, Resident Representative of the KAS in India, pointed out from the history of Germany as to how important student politics can become so as to even change sustainably societies and nations. Prof. Sanjay Kumar, Director of CSDS, outlined the objectives of the workshop and emphasized the unique character of the event. One of the objectives of the dialogue was to analyze the impact of national and state policy on student union elections. In addition, the workshop aimed to examine the topics of the election campaigns and the role of gender, religion and caste in student elections. Furthermore, it addressed the challenges faced by elected students and provided an overview of the implications of the Lyngdoh Committee Report, which drew up guidelines regarding eligibility criteria of candidates, transparency and restrictions in expenditure during elections as well as barring candidates from re-contesting.

One of the topics which were raised by the student leaders was prevalence of discrimination in the University space in general towards students belonging to certain less privileged background in the line of caste or backward tribe. It was also pointed out that women student leaders don't have the same access to opportunities like men and that the unequal position of women in society is also projected in the university. They stated that the universities have to be more inclusive irrespective of gender, religion or caste. The student leaders also raised their concerns about the ongoing privatization in the educational sector, which is limiting the access of the underprivileged to education. Regarding the influence of the parent parties, the student leaders explained that there is not just an ideological influence but also sometimes pressure from the top and some of the participants stated that student politics is actually dominated by the broad politics of the region as well as the psyche of the common masses. The students also developed a few recommendations for the betterment of the clauses of the Lyngdoh Committee Report: The need to review it periodically, a need for clearer understanding of the clauses in the University departments, change in the provision where student leaders can contest more than once, campaign time should not be the same for all the Universities, rather it should be decided in accordance with the size of the University.

The dialogue ended with the students emphasizing that student unions are a good platform for young leaders to develop political leadership skills and some of them made the proposals that Student leaders from across parties and regions should unite to fight for student rights.

Amongst those present were the General Secretary of Delhi University Student Union, Mahamedha Nagar from ABVP, Member of Rajasthan University NSUI Bhanupriya Singh, the President of the Hyderabad Central University Student Union Sreerag Parayil from Alliance for Social Justice, the Vice President of Rajasthan University Student Union Mahima Choudhary from NSUI, the President of Aligarh Muslim University Student Union, Faizul Hasan, the President of Gauhati University Student Union Manash Pratim Duarah from AASU, the President of Delhi University Student Union Rocky Tuseed from NSUI, the President of, Allahabad University Student Union, Awanish Kumar Yadav from Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha, Presidential contestant for the Panjab University Student Union, Avinash Pandey from ABVP, the General Secretary, Hyderabad Central University Student Union Arif Ahammed from SFI, the Joint Secretary of Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union Shubhanshu Singh from DSF, a Senate member from Kerala University student Union Anvarsha A. from AISF, Rangnath Ravi from Jamia Milia University from ABVP, an independent student leader from Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, Hisar Adarsh Shukla and State President of INSO Haryana, Pradeep Deswal.


Philipp Huchel

Publication series

Event Reports


India, November 29, 2017


Peter Rimmele

Resident Representative India

Peter Rimmele
Phone +91 11 26113520
Fax +91 11 45506836
Languages: Deutsch,‎ English,‎ Français,‎ Bahasa Indonesia