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DUTA writes to UGC against grant of autonomous status to St Stephen’s College

St Stephen’s College had applied for an autonomous status in 2017 following which an inspection was carried out on May 10 and 11 by a committee set up to examine applications for grant of autonomous status.

education Updated: May 19, 2018 15:03 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
St Stephen’s College,St Stephen’s College autonomous status,UGC
DUTA also demanded suspension of such initiatives till the matter was honestly and rigorously debated and the performance of the autonomous colleges reviewed.(Rishi Ballabh/HT Photo)

The Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) on May 18 expressed shock at reports that the University Grants Commission (UGC) was working to grant autonomous status to St Stephen’s College.

In a statement, DUTA president Rajib Ray said, “Despite several protests, it seems that the government is moving ahead on its agenda of turning colleges and universities of repute into teaching shops through the scheme of Autonomous Colleges and Graded Autonomy. This is shocking.”

“We have written to the UGC today in this regard opposing any move to fragment and privatise the college and the varsity. The DUTA has also written to the HRD Ministry reiterating its demands,” he added.

St Stephen’s Principal John Verghese did not respond to calls or messages from PTI.

“The Scheme of Autonomous Colleges and Graded Autonomy, which is a push towards self-financing schemes and online courses, will have far reaching consequences. Privatisation of public-funded institutions will hit badly the educational prospects of students coming from marginalised sections, women students and the middle-class,” Ray said.

Thus far the management of only one college, namely St. Stephen’s College, has sought autonomous status without taking the opinions of the teachers and students into account, he added.

The DUTA also demanded suspension of such initiatives till the matter was honestly and rigorously debated and the performance of the autonomous colleges reviewed.

On May 10, members of St. Stephen’s College Staff Association and DUTA staged a demonstration outside the college to protest against the visit by a team of the UGC to the college.

First Published: May 19, 2018 14:10 IST