Some young voters in Bhopal say successive governments have failed to improve the higher education sector in MP.
From missing professors in government colleges in Bhopal to poor education facilities in the interior of the Hindi belt, ahead of voting for Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh a section of young voters in the state capital seems unhappy with the narrow vision and low energy that successive governments have applied in improving the higher education sector in the state.
Bhopal resident Yash Patidar, for example, grabbed the opportunity when he got a seat in BBA course in Delhi University, and shifted to the National Capital. “There aren’t enough avenues for higher studies in Bhopal. I am lucky I got the chance to study in DU,” said Patidar, who has a vote but he may not take the trouble of coming all the way from Delhi to cast his vote on November 17.
Shayan Zaiki, his colleague from Delhi’s College of Vocational Studies, is also confident of getting a good job in Delhi after doing his graduation. “There is a dearth of good educational institutes offering humanities and commerce courses in Bhopal. You can imagine if the state capital is short of such facilities what will happen to students from smaller towns,” he said.
Zaiki, an eligible voter, is determined to assert his voice through the EVM. “I am definitely going to vote,” he said, hoping that a change in the ruling party would bring about positive benefits for students like him.
Krish Iyer, a law student in a private university in Bhopal, is unhappy with the poor road infrastructure in the state. “When we compare our state with others, the difference is clear. Our roads are much worse than others,” he said.
He is a son of a businessman and sees little opportunity for himself in getting a decent job in the state. “There are hardly any good MNCs or business hubs in the state. IT parks in Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur etc are yet to fully develop to be able to offer opportunities to fresh graduates like us,” said Iyer, who has still not qualified to be a voter.
Another friend of his pointed to the poor state of affairs in the government institutes. “We are lucky that our parents have the money to support our education in private universities. The situation is so bad in government-funded institutions like Barkatullah University that our friends tell us that teachers don’t turn up to take lectures,” he said.
The big divide between aspirations of students from urban areas and those coming from regional areas is also striking. At the Government Hamidia Arts & Commerce Degree College in Bhopal, several students expressed a desire to land a government job after studies.
Students from various districts like Bhind, Tikamgarh, Indore and Rajgarh admitted they were aware of the BJP government’s “Seekho Kamao” scheme – aimed at skilling job creators–and the Congress promise of generating jobs for the youth and on failure to get them jobs, the party has promised an unemployment allowance for them ranging from Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000.
Ram Shankar, a Hamidia college student, is not sure if he is going to vote in the Assembly elections. “I want to get a government job,” he said.
Adarsh from Tikamgarh and Ravindra from Bhind said they want the education infrastructure to be better. “We have taken admission in a government college away from our home districts hoping to get jobs after our courses,” said Ravindra.