20 DU colleges attend UGC autonomy programme
St Stephen’s has already submitted an application to become an autonomous college with the university, more colleges across the country are likely to applyeducation Updated: Nov 17, 2017 11:14 IST
New Delhi: Over 20 Delhi University colleges, including St Stephen’s, Hindu, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Lady Shri Ram, attended a University Grants Commission (UGC) orientation programme on autonomous institutions.
Sources said while St Stephen’s has already submitted an application to become an autonomous college with the university, more colleges across the country are likely to apply.
According to sources, one of the major concerns raised by the colleges was slashing of funds if they go for autonomous college status. “We told the colleges that we will not cut their funds at all rather efforts will be made to increase the fund allocation,” said a senior UGC official.
Officials further said that a number of colleges raised the issue of universities not forwarding their applications seeking autonomous status.
“Under the new rule once a college moves an application seeking autonomous status a copy of that is sent to us also. In case the university fails to dispose it within a month it is automatically assumed that it has been approved. So this concern has been taken care of,” said a senior UGC official.
A total of 120 colleges participated including 20 DU colleges, the official said.
“A presentation was given to us about what it means to become an autonomous institute. The UGC said the decision to become an autonomous institute will be up to the colleges and it won’t be imposed,” said Suman Sharma, principal the Lady Shri College.
Sharma said the college has no plans right now to apply for autonomy. “It needs consensus from all stakeholders, including students and parents. We have no plans as of now to apply for autonomy,” she said.
A top DU official said they have not received application from any other college except St Stephen’s.
A source said that a number of states such as Gujarat and Maharashtra pointed out they are unable to follow the provisions of autonomous colleges regarding faculty and hence can’t apply. “We have told them that this issue will be taken up with the states. Through we can’t force them to change their guidelines,” said the official.
According to the UGC Guidelines for Autonomous Colleges-2017, a college coming under the scheme will be able to determine and prescribe its own courses; restructure and redesign the syllabi to suit local needs; and make it skill-oriented in consonance with job requirements.
Meanwhile, DU teachers’ association (DUTA) protested outside the venue of the meeting and alleged that the move to convert well-established DU colleges into autonomous colleges is a part of the agenda to further commercialization that will lead to steep increase in cost of education.