The New Maharashtra Public Universities Act 2016 Made Simple

What is the Act all about? Why was it banned? Bayside Journal simplifies the Act

Credit: Wikimedia/Bernard Gagnon - Library of University of Mumbai, India

Recently, the Maharashtra State Legislature passed the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016, enabling student union elections in the state more than two decades after they were banned. Bayside Journal brings to you three things you need to know about student elections.

Why Was It Banned?

Student union elections were banned in Maharashtra following violent incidents in 1992. National Students Union of India (NSUI) candidate Owen D’Souza of Ismail Yusuf College (Mumbai) was attacked and killed when he had gone to check the polling process at Jitendra Chauhan Law College in Vile Parle. There were other incidents reported across various colleges, which led to the banning of student elections throughout the state of Maharashtra.

What Does the Bill Primarily State?

A student representative will be present in every university’s management council and other decision-making bodies, enabling them to be more involved in the decision-making process. Elections will be conducted annually. The Bill will bring reforms in the higher education sector by conducting separate exams for students participating in inter-university, national, international sports, and cultural events. The same will be applicable to NSS and NCC volunteers too. The Bill only provides for non-agricultural universities of Maharashtra.

Does the Bill Provide Any Other Advantages to the Students?

The Bill will provide an equal opportunities cell for Divyang (handicapped) students. It will permit students to shift from one university to another. It will also provide for choice based credit system (CBCC), so that students can pick subjects of their choice. Universities will also have a students’ grievance redressal cell.

Know what the students have to say in this Bayside Journal article.