Edex News

Students put their best political foot forward

Recently, Seema Rajpal found herself at MIT, Pune, attending a spirited Student Parliament

Published: 30th January 2017 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2017 12:38 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

When we were first introduced to Rahul Karad, the founder and dean of Maharashtra Institute of Technology - School of Government (MIT-SOG), Pune, we overheard him enthusiastically saying, “I want people to copy me.” What he’s referring to is the Bharatiya Chhatra Sansad (BCS), which had started with five classrooms back in 2010. Now, a three-day event held on 17, 18 and 19 of this month, it was spread across the Swami Vivekananda Mandap,  a 12,000 sq ft auditorium at its Kothrud campus grounds.

As we catch up with him, he tells us how the BCS has fostered several platforms like the Bihar Chhatra Sansad, Gujarat Chhatra Sansad and many more. “BSC will become the parent of youth parliaments in India,” he says confidently. This conference was started with the intention of providing a dynamic platform for youth leaders with the singular aim of increasing youth involvement in politics, thereby ridding the country of corruption.

Recalling the events this year, on the first day, Youth Affairs Minister Vijay Goel revealed his ministry’s intent to launch a Sports Talent search portal, where all you have to do is upload how you’ve made a mark in any field, and you could win the chance to be trained at the National Sports Academy.

On the second day, Hardik Patel, frontrunner of the Patidar reservation agitation, was faced with opposing views like — I am a Patidar, but I don’t want reservation — to which he replied, “This is for the greater good.”

The final day witnessed Baba Ramdev in an infectious mood being his regular goofy self, and introducing himself as the brand ambassador for Patanjali products.

 Every day, the dignitaries covered burning issues like reservation, freedom of expression, black money and more, while a few trailblazing politicians were given awards, including the Chief Minister of Tripura, Manik Sarkar. He did not hold back from ranting about the country’s current state of affairs.

What was striking was that alongside these stalwarts, student leaders from various parts of the world were given the opportunity to present their views as well. In fact, the audience too was asked to vote on these issues. Despite long sessions every day, at the end of the event, students flocked to the Youth to Youth Connect, where they were split according to their areas of interest and a war of words ensued on various topics.

Professor Rahul admitted that conferences like these have been a part of the Parliamentary Youth Affairs Ministry since 1965, but their agenda is beyond just organising an annual conference.

“We want students to work post the event. We monitor and mentor them through their journey,” he says, revealing that, in February, Amravati will play host to the first ever National Women’s Parliament. This recommendation came from Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh to Professor Karad last year. When asked if he has any regrets, he says, “There are so many more students. How do I engage them all?”

Stay up to date on all the latest Edex news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.