Different regulations of Delhi University, the ability to increase fee, have 15% management quota and a greater say in appointment of the principal were some of the proposals sent by Hindu College to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) two years ago, in its bid to seek “autonomy”.
The letter was sent in August 2016 by college chairman SNP Punj. Details of the proposal were discussed in the staff association meeting on Tuesday. The association, however, unanimously passed a no-confidence motion against the chairman and the principal, demanding their removal. It has also decided to hold a dharna to ensure that their demands are met.
“The Hindu College Staff Association wishes to express its shock, outrage and deep sense of betrayal at the discovery of this proposal and its contents. Over the last year, the college administration has repeatedly denied any such initiative as baseless rumours, intended only to cause unrest in the college,” it said.
Autonomy, as per the UGC, is meant to allow greater academic and administrative freedom to colleges. With autonomy, colleges would not be constituents of DU, and can decide on matters of fee and syllabus. St Stephen’s College was also keen on autonomy, which was opposed by students and teachers on the ground that it would lead to privatisation.
On May 22, the HRD Ministry had invited stakeholders of the two colleges to discuss autonomy. However, since granting autonomy meant amending the DU Act, the government said they will seek legal opinion. The college said it wanted to start new courses such as BSc Forensic Science, BA International Relations and others on a “self-financing mode”.The proposal also talks about starting BSc in Fashion Technology and Allied Sciences, since a degree in fashion technology was only being awarded by NIFT.
The college also wants to expand to other states under the Hindu College banner. “We are willing to open a new chain of new colleges, in a planned manner, under the Hindu College banner in NCR and other adjoining states such as Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh in the first phase, and in the Northeast and other states,” said the proposal. It also talks about being granted a “deemed to be university status”.
On the funding aspect, it states that the initial land and infrastructure funding has to be provided by the Centre, but the college will be fixing its own “fee structure”. The proposal also lists the problems of being a constituent college of DU. Calling it regulatory provisions, it states that the university’s rules in composition of the governing body affects the stability and effectiveness of governance. The proposal also talks about increasing fee, and demands a greater say in financial autonomy by the trust and management.
Referring to the SC judgment on the Unnikrishnan case, the proposal also talks about reserving 15% seats under the management quota, like in private universities. “This will provide more financial strength with less dependence on the UGC,” it said.