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Deja vu: Technical error, discovered by The Edict, forces fresh elections to Library Committee

By Anirudh S.K., ASP'23

On Friday, the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) announced that the elections for the Library Committee’s student representatives will take place for a second time due to a technical error.

The error in question came up when The Edict reached out to the OSA on 11th October asking about a doubt regarding the email thread announcing the original election. We noticed that while the election mandate specified that voting was open to all batches, the email thread was sent only to the UG'24 and PhD cohorts.

On October 14th the OSA announced that fresh elections will take place on Monday, 17 October through the MyAshoka portal.

What is the Library Committee?

It is a body comprising eleven people – one chairperson (a tenured professor), one faculty member from each of the university’s six ‘schools’ (namely biological sciences, economics, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences), two student representatives (one UG24 and one PhD student), one person representing the admin’s finance department, and the library’s Director.

What does the Library Committee do?

It broadly serves two functions: serving as a bridge between the library’s users and its administration, and discharging some of the library’s administrative duties.

Its role as a bridge involves receiving recommendations from students, faculty, and the university’s Centers regarding material to be purchased; and making recommendations regarding the welfare of the library and its stakeholders.

Its administrative duties include:

  • Preparing the library’s annual budget

  • Advising and reviewing the library’s resource and service policies

  • Reviewing how the library’s books, journals, and other resources are being used

  • Deciding whether to digitize items for teaching or conservation-related needs

Since when does the Committee have student representatives? When will we elect them next?

In an interview with The Edict, Mr. BP Prakash, the library’s Director, said that this is the first time that the Library Committee is seeing student representation. It is scheduled to meet at least once every four months, and all its members have a term of two years.

What issues might one keep an eye out for before the elections?

The three students contesting the election – Nandhana B, Sthitee Mohanty, and Navya Asopa – are allowed to send campaign emails until 11:59 pm on 16 October. Some issues that candidates from the last round of elections raised in their campaign emails are that:

  • Students need trays or bags placed near the library that they can use to carry their belongings

  • The library’s fiction section needs to be expanded

  • The library needs more local newspapers, and books written in India’s regional languages

  • The library is too cold

While the student representatives belong to the UG24 and PhD cohorts, all students enrolled at Ashoka are entitled to vote in the Library Committee election on the 17th. To vote, log in to and navigate to ‘Library Committee Elections 2022-23’ under the ‘Campus’ section of the ‘My Ashoka’ drop-down list. Voting will open at 10 am and close at 8 pm.

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