DUTA writes to UGC against grant of autonomous status to St Stephen's College
The Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) today expressed shock at reports that the University Grants Commission was working to grant autonomous status to St. Stephens 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 university. The DUTA has also written to the HRD Ministry reiterating its demands. 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. Stephens 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.