Campus Central

UGC to Visit St. Stephen’s College Amidst Dissent Against Autonomy

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A team from the University Grants Commission is set to visit St. Stephen’s College on 10th and 11th May 2018, after the Governing Body (GB) of the college had in-principle agreed to apply for autonomy.

The most recent development in the fight against commercialisation of public education through privatisation, the University Grants Commission (UGC) is going to be visiting the campus of St. Stephen’s College for an inspection on 10th-11th May 2018. This visit is a consequence of the Governing Body of the college agreeing in-principle to apply for autonomy.

The issue of autonomy has been much talked about in the University of Delhi this year, with several protests being organised and students as well as teachers’ speaking out against this pressing issue.

Nandita Narain, a senior professor from the maths department of St. Stephen’s College, told DU Beat “44 out of 56 permanent teachers of the college have written to the UGC in opposition to this move in which we have outlined our objection against the way this decision was taken, in an emergency meeting of the GB last year, without any kind of consultation from the teachers, karamcharis, and students, who are the primary stakeholders.”

Adding to the objections raised by the teachers, she further said, “There is no clarity surrounding the implications of this move as no clear picture has been laid out regarding the financial structure of the college, the regulation of fees, and the service conditions of the teachers. The fate of the Ad-hoc teachers’ is also shaky.” She pointed out that there is nothing to gain from this move, as the college is not equipped to take on the massive administrative and academic burdens that will come with autonomy. Questioning the functioning of the administration, she also told the DU Beat correspondent that the present management functions in an arbitrary and non-transparent manner.

Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) and All India Students’ Association (AISA) are conducting protests outside St. Stephen’s College tomorrow at 10 a.m., when the UGC visit is scheduled. AISA has also started a signature campaign to oppose this move. In a phone conversation with DU Beat, Kawalpreet Kaur, Head of AISA’s Delhi University Unit said, “We have been conducting a signature campaign since the examinations started, by putting up a desk at the Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station in the evening. Tomorrow, we will also be protesting along with DUTA when the UGC visit is scheduled, to convey that we are against the arbitrary manner in which the decisions are being taken by the administration, when the students and teachers are totally in opposition to this move. Through the signature campaign, we have aimed to start a long-term agitation against this move towards autonomy, and we will also be actively protesting any fee hikes that will happen in the coming semesters in any colleges of DU.”


Feature Image Credits: St. Stephen’s College

Bhavya Banerjee

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