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Not just St Stephen’s, other trust-run colleges vie for autonomous status too

The Delhi University has invited proposals from several constituent colleges to apply for autonomous status. Not just St Stephen’s, colleges like Shri Ram College of Commerce, Hansraj College, Sri Venkateswara College, among others, are planning to jump in the fray too.

delhi Updated: Mar 07, 2017 07:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Delhi University,autonomy,St Stephen's
Even as governing council of St Stephen’s College met on Saturday to discuss applying for autonomous status, around 500 students signed a document and sat in protest against Delhi University’s decision to grant autonomy to constituent colleges.(Shradha Chettri)

The opening statement of the University Grants Commission (UGC) document on autonomous college reads: “The only safe and better way to improve the quality of undergraduate education is to the link most of the colleges from the affiliating structure. Colleges with academic and operative freedom are doing better and have more credibility.”

Apparently abiding by this, different Delhi University colleges, especially trust-run institutions, are vying for the autonomous status.

A member of a renowned DU college, who did not wish to be identified as the discussion with members of the college is at a nascent stage, said, “If we want to start any new courses or change something, we have to go to DU and that takes a lot of time. This system of affiliating colleges to a university was started when they were lesser colleges, but now there are just 63 colleges under DU, so administration is a problem.”

Once the college is given the autonomous status, they will be free to prescribe their own courses of study and syllabi, and restructure and redesign the courses to suit local needs. They can also set their own rules for admission in consonance with the reservation policy of the state government.

According to a source, the chairman of another trust-run DU college is also known to have approached the Prime Minister’s Office in connection with the move for autonomy.

Delhi University has formed a committee to initiate the process of granting autonomy to colleges and also invited colleges like Shri Ram College of Commerce, Hansraj College, Sri Venkateswara College and a few others.

“We were called for a meeting by the university. However, this decision is with the governing body of the college,” said Rama Sharma, officiating principal of Hansraj College.

However, the move is not a first of its kind. The autonomous system is in place in several colleges in Mumbai too. In 2011, St Xavier’s College in Mumbai had become autonomous. Since then, 10 colleges that were initially under Mumbai University, have become autonomous.

First Published: Feb 26, 2017 17:58 IST