Amid protests by students and teachers, the Governing Body of the prestigious St Stephen’s College today decided to go ahead with the proposal seeking autonomy for the institution. “The GB in-principle decided to seek autonomous status for the college,” said a member of the Governing Body (GB), the supreme decision-making body. With the central government announcing provisions for more autonomy for educational institutions across the country in the annual budget, Delhi University had earlier this month formed a committee for its colleges which are seeking autonomy or university status.
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Prestigious colleges like SRCC, St Stephen’s, Ramjas, Hansraj and the ones run by Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee had approached the university and HRD officials seeking greater autonomy and decision-making powers. Scores of students and members of Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) sat on protest as the meeting was underway demanding wider consultations be held before reaching a conclusion on the issue.
Unless the colleges get university status with degree awarding powers, granting them more autonomy will not necessarily mean that they will not be part of the university. Besides imparting quality education, maintaining the student-faculty ratio and required infrastructure, the colleges are also required to gain A grade in NAAC accreditation for three consecutive times, in order to be eligible for autonomous status.
“A petition signed by more than 500 students and 30 teachers was presented to the Governing Body by a teacher representative on the GB during its meeting,” DUTA said in a statement.
“Governing Body ignored the plea and decided by a majority vote to adopt the proposal for autonomy in principle and follow the procedure laid down for consultation prior to sending the application. Four teacher representatives voted against the resolution,” it added.