Autonomy move: St Stephen’s students protest, teachers to quit admin posts
Last Saturday, the governing body of the college had decided in principle to apply for autonomy from Delhi Universitydelhi Updated: Mar 02, 2017 10:27 IST
The teachers of St Stephen’s College will resign from their administrative posts on Thursday to protest against the college’s move to apply for autonomy from Delhi University.
The students of the college too launched a protest against the autonomy bid on Saturday and said they will continue to fight as long as the college administration does not consult them.
Last Saturday, the governing body of the college had decided in principle to apply for autonomy from Delhi University. The students immediately launched a protest saying that the decision was taken without consultation with various stakeholders.
On Monday again, the teachers and students marched to the principal’s residence demanding consultation, where teachers and students were promised of a governing body meet today (Wednesday).
Autonomy implies that it will no longer be a DU constituent college and will be free to take its own decisions in framing syllabus, fee structure, starting new college branches and will enjoy other academic freedoms.
“There was initially no notice about holding a governing body meet. So, we were suspicious about the principal sticking to his words. On Wednesday, a notice was finally put up inviting members of student union, student council and all class representatives to discuss the issue. During the meeting, when the representatives asked about a governing body consultation, the principal turned it down. Then the representatives walked out,” said a student.
The students and teachers then, armed with posters that read “Discuss and Decide”, “We Need Consensus” and “Come Communicate and Convince”, camped in the college lawns in front of the principal’s office and held a demonstration.
The principal of the college John Varghese refused to comment on the matter.
The staff association later said they had unanimously decided of resigning.
“In protest against this undemocratic way of functioning of the administration, teachers have decided to resign,” said Nandita Narain, mathematics teacher and president of the staff association.
The students, meanwhile, said that the protest will continue.
“All we are asking is let us what autonomy means and how will things change in the college after. This is a very democratic way of doing things. Our stand is clear--have a consultation, build a consensus then go forward,” said another student of the college.
On Thursday, the teachers, students and karmachari will also hold a meeting to decide on the future course of action.