The Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal has dropped a bone of contention in DU this time around. It seems that he recognizes the need for DU to be constantly shrouded in controversy and debate and apparently the unending discussionon the semester system left him quite bored. So, to spice up things just a little, Mr. HRD Minister has declared a proposal in which St. Stephen’s College will be converted into an autonomous institution and will have the power to issue its own degrees for prospective educational programs.
DU teachers have expressed concern over this proposal. They are vehemently against this autonomy granted to St. Stephen’s College. They believe St. Stephen’s is one of the best reputed colleges across India and such a proposal is certain to nudge it over to a bleak future. Furthermore, Delhi University would suffer a ‘loss of epic proportions’ following the move. This proposal however, is not unprecedented as DU has already have been refused concept of autonomous colleges, as it aims towards making institutions more self-sufficient by increasing their resources.
Teachers also maintain that the ‘spiritual harmony’ of the University would be disrupted as the concept of making colleges autonomous creates a sense of diversity rather than unifying entities that are so socially varied. After Delhi College of Engineering and possibly NSIT, DU is weary of losing St. Stephen’s as well.
Having seen relative inactivity over the past few months, DUTA has resolved to tackle this problem in the most effective manner possible. The Delhi University Teachers Association has forced the DU Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh to oppose the move of declaring St. Stephen’s an autonomous institution, taken by the HRD ministry.
At this juncture, the question to be asked is whether such proposals, withdrawals and discussions benefit the students of the University, whom they’re in essence supposed to?Or are they merely whims of people who’re portrayed as the much needed harbingers of change in our education system?