AMU ensuring Exam Schedule to allow all Students to cast their Vote

Written by SabrangIndia | Published on: April 2, 2019
Over 10,000 students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) will appear for their year end exams this year. Though the schedule is not out, exams are likely to take place during the same time as the 2019 general elections in April and May. 

AMU

Given that these students are over the age of 18, they are also eligible to cast their vote. The university administration and students union are therefore leaving no stone un-turned in ensuring that all of them get the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.

AMU is ensuring that Election Commission guidelines are being followed and exam dates are not clashing with polling dates. In fact, they have also revised dates for entrance exams in accordance with directives from the Election Commission just so that they don’t clash with elections. 

However, given how AMU is one of India’s 40 central universities and has over 14,000 outstation students from as far as Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and West Bengal, the overlap between exam and election schedules still casts a shadow on the ability of outstation students to cast their votes.

According to Omar Peerzada, PRO AMU, “We always promote the right to vote. If an outstation student gives us advance intimation about going to cast their vote, the administration will take a decision based on the rules and guidelines laid down by the EC, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the University Grants Commission (UGC). Ideally, there should be a system of postal ballots for students too.”

In India, service voters such as members of the armed forces as well as Indian citizens living overseas are entitled to cast their votes using postal ballots. The system was first incorporated as a part of the Conduct of Election Rules 1961 and governed under provisions of Rules 23 and 24. In 2016, rule 23 was amended to allow armed forces personnel and overseas voters to cast their votes electronically. The Electronically transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) was created for this purpose.

Meanwhile at AMU, the students’ union has also been actively campaigning to ensure that all eligible students get the opportunity to cast their vote. AMUSU Hon. Secy, Huzaifa Amir Rashadi says, “The polling date in Aligarh is on April 18 and the exams will only start from April 25. Moreover, we are working to ensure that there is a gap of two to three days around voting dates for other states, so that outstation students can go, vote and come back in time for their papers.”

Polling will be conducted in seven phases viz: April 11, 18, 23, 29, May 6, 12 and 19. The buffer is to allow students adequate time to return after casting their vote. The exam schedule has not been finalised yet, but is likely to be released soon.