CHANDIGARH: National Scheduled Castes Alliance, an organization involved in the welfare of the Scheduled Castes community sent a letter to the Vice President of India, Shri. Venkaiah Naidu regarding reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes community in Senate Election being conducted at Panjab University, Chandigarh. The term of the senate, the apex governing body of PU, ended on October 31 last year. The term of the syndicate, PU’s executive body, also ended in December 31. Its members are elected from among the senators. Hence, the university is now functioning without a governing body. The Senate of Panjab University is an Apex Govt. body which consists of around 90 members out of which half are elected through voting. The Senate Elections are being conducted in Panjab University since decades in various faculties of the University like Graduate, Principal etc.
In this regard, Paramjit Singh Kainth, President of the National Scheduled Castes Alliance said, “Senate since long has inadequate representation of SCs and STs. It can be easily ascertained that the representation of Scheduled Castes Community has been neglected since decades whereas number of students of Schedule Castes Community studying in the University have been increasing. It is the duty of the University Administration to provide adequate representation to those Schedule Castes students who cannot be represented by the other Communities. Recent cases of social boycott and discrimination throughout Punjab have evolved a sense of fear amongst the students belonging to the community regarding safeguards for their rights at the University level where they do not have adequate representation in the Administrative body.”
Mr. Kainth further said, “In catena of judgments passed by Hon’ble Supreme Court, it has been held that Reservation is not an exception to equality rule but rather it is a facet of equality. Our Constitution recognizes the concept of ‘proportionate equality’ and ‘substantive equality’ which mandates that equality norm acquires completion only when marginalized are given a legal set up to achieve it. However, it has been of great discontent that the students of a community, which has historically been on the receiving end of discrimination, have not been provided adequate safeguards in this abode of knowledge and especially none of the major political parties including Congress, Akali Dal and other left parties which claim to champion the rights of the marginalized have never pushed a call for this issue. If our demand is accepted, it will prove a step in the right direction for the government providing impetus in the activities dedicated for the welfare of the SC community.”
The NSCA requested that process of Senate Elections which are pending needs to be kept in abeyance in the absence of reservation for Scheduled Castes as the same is against the principle of welfare and justice provided by the Constitution of India and the provisions for reservation in the said body be provided as soon as possible. The letter was also forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Education.