Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Utkal University campus in Bhubaneswar is currently abuzz with the activism by various students’ organisations as the Odisha government mulls over opening all higher educational institutes across the State soon.

In a bid to woo new students to their fold and enhance their political base, various students’ organisations like the All India Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO), Biju Chhatra Janata Dal (BCJD) and Chhatra Congress have opened help desks on the campus. 

In order to pursue higher education, students from across the State and outside are coming in large numbers to the Utkal University campus for appearing in Common PG entrance examinations. The students’ wings of various political outfits are leaving no stones unturned to motivate them. They are helping the new comers find out the departments, routs and the buildings in which they will appear the tests. With banners, posters and leaflets, they are trying in all possible tricks to draw attention of the newcomers towards them.

According to sources, the student leaders have already started preparations for the expected election in the University to be announced soon.

“Elections in Universities across Odisha have been cancelled for two consecutive years in view of Covid-19 pandemic. The students are most likely to get Covid-19 jabs soon and elections may take place this year. There is nothing wrong to start the preparation and campaigning for the forthcoming elections from now,” said a student leader.

Meanwhile, the new comers who have turned up to appear in the entrance examinations have expressed happiness over the camaraderie displayed by the students’ organisations.

“The help desks opened by various students’ organisations are really helpful. We have come from far off places and have no knowledge about the huge campus. The volunteers are helping us out to find out the routes and saving our time and energy. We are really grateful for the help,” said Sobhan Jena, a student who came from an outside state to sit for the entrance examination.

However, many volunteers claimed that they are helping the students without any political motive.

“Our duty is to help the newcomers into the campus. We are attending to them out of will and without any political motive,” said Ranjan Bal who is a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

“There is no guarantee that the elections would be conducted on the campus this year. We are extending our helping hands to the newcomers as a matter of duty,” said Simron Singh, a BCJD member.

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