Student Unions in India

Student Unions In India

Student Unions In India

The youth is the future of every nation. It is only right that they in their capacity learn to work towards the progress of the nation. Since the era of the Congress Party domination, the students’ unions in India has developed a complex tradition of student politics. Most of these unions are affiliated to a political party and actively participate in any current crisis, especially those related to students. Some of the important students’ unions in India include:

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), an All-India student organisation, was founded in 1948, and today is the largest student organisation in the world. With the motto of “Knowledge, Character & Unity”, ABVP draws its inspiration from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the premier Hindu nationalist organization of the country.


  • Formed immediately after the independence of India, the objective of ABVP was to channelize the energy of the youth towards the reconstruction of the nation.
  • Imbued with the conviction of realising the dream of a developed nation, modern and free from all circumstantial impediments and drawbacks, ABVP, over the years conducted constructive programmes and movements towards the goal of National Reconstruction.
  • With Prof Yeshwantrao Kelkar at the helm, ABVP worked towards bringing about awareness about the basic rights of the poor in the nation through programmes of grand scales.
  • ABVP also works towards comprehensive educational reforms. With the belief that the Gen X should be aware of the rich heritage of India to propagate a feeling of brotherhood among people, ABVP advocates a syllabi which does not concentrate merely on career prospects, but also includes education about the country. They have been waging a constant struggle against the commercialisation of education.
  • ABVP also strives to involve students in social and charitable causes.
  • With the principle of social equality and harmony, ABVP encourages the virtue of equal respect for all.


ABVP has been in news regularly due to the following reasons:

  • Student activists attacked the anchors of MTV’s Roadies on 23 April 2011. In the same year they also ransacked a missionary school over Anna protest in Jharkand.
  • In 2012, they protested against the screening of the documentary film Jash-e-Azadi by Sanjay Kak. This led to the indefinite postponement of the seminar Voices of Kashmir by Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce, Pune.
  • The ABVP also came in the news for attacking the Beef Festival in Osmania University.
  • The ABVP workers engaged in vandalism in a Kashmir Film Festival in Hyderabad in 2013.
  • The ABVP worker tried to obstruct the release of the film PK in 2014.

All India Students Federation (AISF)

With the motto of “Study and Struggle”, AISF was founded on 12 August 1936 under the guidance of Nehru. It has the honour of being the first student body to be directly involved in helping India attain independence.


  • During the pre-independence era, the students of AISF went involved in India’s the struggle for independence. However, the students did not see their struggle for independence in isolation from the worldwide struggle against imperialism and colonialism. They also joined hands in the struggles against fascism and strived towards a better life for the youth.
  • AISF believes in peace, progress and scientific socialism. It is against capitalism. It believes capitalism is the root cause of the rising cost of living, inflation, and misery of the people in BPL category. They believe that the youth of India is being victimised by the capitalistic economy.
  • AISF also has specific demands like democratisation and reforms in education, democratic and political rights, jobs, better cultural, sports and other recreational facilities for the betterment of students in India.


  • The controversy being faced by AISF is that of the current issue of protest by the JNU students against the hanging of Afzal Guru in 2013. Kanhaiya Kumar of AISF, the President of the JNU Students’ Union, was recently arrested on sedition charges after allegations of ‘anti-national’ sloganeering against him. Students from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, with Kanhaiya Kumar at the helm, organised an event as a protest against the hanging of the Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and in solidarity with the “struggle” of Kashmiri migrants at the Sabarmati dhaba in the campus. The ABVP staged a protest demanding the expulsion of the organisers.

All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO)

Founded on 28 December 1954, AIDSO is affiliated with the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist). The motto of AIDSO is to fight against injustice, oppression and exploitation and promote social transformation.


  • AIDSO is against anti-education policies of the central and the state governments.
  • Establishment of a scientific, secular, democratic education system.
  • In recent years, AIDSO has started a national movement against commercialisation of education, introduction of sex education at school level and the policy of Special Economic Zones.

Students’ Federation of India (SFI)

SFI, an independent students’ organization, was formed in 1970. A Socialist Organisation, SFI’s slogan is “Independence, Democracy, and Socialism!” SFI believes that education is the only means to rid India of the shackles of regressive ideas.


  • The SFI strives towards the establishment of a progressive, democratic and egalitarian education system which will ensure social justice and intellectual self-reliance.
  • SFI also aims at universal and free public education system ensuring education for all.
  • SFI stands for the advancement of India towards a socialistic pattern of society, ensuring social and economic equality and a life of dignity and prosperity to all.

The Delhi University Students Union (DUSU)

The DUSU is the umbrella students’ union in the University of Delhi and includes most of the colleges and faculties of Delhi.


  • To promote a democratic outlook through social, cultural and intellectual development of all the students studying in Delhi University.
  • To promote consciousness among the students about the current events so that they can contribute towards healthy students’ movements and have a sense of service towards the people and duty towards the state.


Student Union members are in a very important position to bring about a change for the better, and through experience gained, lead India in the political capacity in the future. They must strive to remain as apolitical as feasible and work towards maintaining their ideology and achieving their objectives.