Principals of various state and central universities from across the country Thursday gathered in the city for an orientation programme on the issue of autonomous colleges, organised by the University Grants Commission. Sources said principals of Delhi University (DU) were assured that autonomy would not result in any fund cut towards their institutions. The meeting saw the presence of K K Sharma, Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development and UGC Chairman V S Chauhan.
“They explained the Autonomous College Scheme and clarified that there will be no impact on the funds. They said we will continue to get the same funding as we’re getting now. Colleges will get autonomy to start their own courses, formulate their own syllabus and hold their own examinations. The results will be declared by the university. Also, on the degree, the name of the college will be mentioned although it will be given by the university,” said S K Garg, Principal of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College.
Garg said colleges with ‘A’ grade given by NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) could apply for autonomous status. However, other principals said there was much “confusion” about its implementation and that authorities were not able to adequately answer the questions posed by principals.
“They said colleges which have one stream will get Rs 9 lakh as funding annually, those who have two-three streams would get somewhere around Rs 15 lakh. The money isn’t enough… On the one hand they say colleges will get autonomy to frame their own syllabus, but on the other hand they have also implemented CBCS (Choice-Based Credit System) which gives a uniform syllabus for all colleges,” a DU principal told The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, the DU Teachers’ Association (DUTA) organised a protest, arguing that the autonomous status could have “very adverse effects on the service conditions of teachers and karamcharis, besides making quality public education unaffordable for large sections of people”.