City students chalk out agenda for the new state government
The document, which addresses issues of infrastructure, education, urban entertainment and crime control, will be presented to the chief minister
The city goes to polls today and amidst weeks of aggressive political campaigning, a student organisation, Operation Black Dot, has been formulating a youth manifesto to present to Maharashtra’s future chief minister.
Based on responses from 2,000 students across Mumbai’s colleges, the manifesto will highlight recommendations on the education system, infrastructure, economic policies and crime control.
“We often distance ourselves from politics and rant about the disorganised education system in India,” says Aakansha Kedia, 21, a KC College graduate and volunteer with Operation Black Dot (OBD), which was formed ahead of the general elections and works to make the youth more politically active. “The larger question is, what are we doing about it?”
The survey asked students to comment on issues such as the state education policy, project clearances and delays, expense management by the government, appointment of contractors and need for a computerised FIR system. Based on the findings, 100 OBD volunteers are working on putting the manifesto together.
“The survey findings are very interesting,” says Natalie Bansal, 21, a KC College graduate and an OBD volunteer working on the manifesto. “Instead of petty issues such as poor nightlife, the students had larger concerns about the education system, inadequate infrastructure and open spaces.”
With respect to the education system, students are of the opinion that more practical learning needs to be integrated.
“The board examination format we follow emphasises the length of answers, instead of the quality of content. We need to learn through case studies, not text books,” says Yash Chandiramani, 22, a business management student at Jai Hind College.
In addition to creating their own manifesto, the OBD team has analysed promises made by major political parties, especially with respect to the youth.
“The main objective is to make people aware of the promises made by different parties,” says Samyak Chakrabarthy, 25, founder of OBD and chief youth marketer at DDB Mudra Group. “We want students to make an informed decision.” OBD collated this information by speaking to parties directly, and from the news.
OBD’S youth manifesto addresses problems of public infrastructure, urban entertainment, e-governance, government-citizen interaction and education, among others.
A file photo of a voter registration drive at Ramnarain Ruia College, Matunga, conducted by Operation Black Dot, ahead of the general elections.