Those contesting Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) polls will not be able to prefix the letter ‘A’ before their names in order to be elevated in the list of candidates as the varsity has decided to tighten its norms in this regard.
DU has decided to amend its rules for changing names following a directive from Delhi High Court which had observed in November last year that the practice among candidates to add an ‘A’ before their names prior to DUSU polls in order to get themselves listed at the top of the ballot paper “is flawed”.
“The Executive Council (EC) of the varsity has decided to amend the present rules for change of name in order to avoid misuse of the provision,” EC member Abha Dev Habib told PTI.
“A committee will be formed to decide on application for change of name by any student. It will be mandatory to route the application through the college principal and no such requests will be accepted if the student has not announced it in the Delhi gazette,” Habib said.
“A candidate will either be allowed to change his name only after contesting the election and, if it has been changed, he/she will not be permitted to thereafter revert to the original name and should be ready to obtain his university leaving certificate/degree with the changed name,” she added.
All India Students’ Association (AISA) had last year challenged the prevalent practice in DUSU elections of some of the contesting candidates adding an ‘A’ before their names.
It had contended that it was a belief that a large number of voters not committed to any particular contesting candidate but nevertheless exercising their voting right, vote in favour of the candidate whose name appears first on the ballot paper without even bothering to go through all the names.
“We were also of the view that such a practice needs to be stopped, hence, it was unanimously decided that the rules should be amended,” Habib said.
According to the present rules, change of name of a student is made either on the basis of change made in matriculation certificate or equivalent certificate or on submission of certain documents, including declaration on non-judicial stamp paper for consideration by the Executive Council.
The name, after the change, has to be read as “changed name alias earlier name”.
The varsity, however, is still considering the clause whether or not it should entertain requests from a person who is not a student of the university at the time of making the application for change of name.
“There have been cases when genuine requests had to be turned down because by the time the student procured the matriculation certificate from CBSE with the changed name, they had passed out from the university. We are still considering whether or not to give an exemption in such cases,” Habib said.
“The finalised rules with due changes in the ordinances will be notified soon,” she added.