The debate around granting autonomy to certain Delhi University colleges has been stirred yet again, as it has been in the past, with the governing body of St. Stephen’s College calling a meeting on Saturday in which it decided to apply for autonomy, amidst protests by students and members of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA).
An autonomous status will imply that the college will no longer be a part of Delhi University. It will frame its own rules and fee structure, and will not be financed by University Grants Commission (UGC). In short, a step towards privatization, which is going to have various advantages and disadvantages.
THE CASE FOR AUTONOMY
- Autonomous Colleges will be able to determine the syllabi and structure the courses themselves. Changes in university syllabi involve red-tapism and are time-consuming.
- They will be able to prescribe the rules for admission independently, instead of following the admission process of Delhi University.
- They will be financed independently and will be able to decide the fee structure on their own.
- They will have permission to issue their own provisional, migration and other certificates.
THE CASE AGAINST AUTONOMY
- Granting autonomy to colleges will imply privatized functioning of these colleges, without interference or financing by UGC.
- In the absence of government financing, these colleges may levy an exorbitant fee on students, as opposed to the subsidized fee paid as of now.
- An autonomous status may take away the tag of Delhi University from these colleges, thus posing a threat to professors’
- The prestige of colleges will go down if the brand name of Delhi University is removed.
Granting an autonomous status to St. Stephen’s may also pave the way for various other DU colleges such as Hindu, Hansraj and SRCC to follow suit. If it happens, it will have huge implications for staff and students alike. Whether the move is actually implemented, and to what extent, will depend on which party is able to convince the other.
Well, we are still digesting this fact and would love to know which side of the debate are you on? Tag someone who needs to see this!