The autonomous status means that the colleges will be able to frame their own syllabus, follow their own fee structure and will no longer be a constituent college of DU. The colleges will have a deemed university status. There are other colleges like Shri Ram College for Commerce (SRCC) and Hansraj College that have been seeking autonomy. Students and teachers in Delhi University are protesting against the government’s move to give autonomy status to colleges.
There are 24 trust-run colleges under DU and it is mostly the trust-run colleges that have been asked to apply for the autonomous colleges.
Teachers have added that this will destroy public-funded institutions, as after the autonomy the UGC will not provide continuous funds.
It will become hard for poor students to study in prestigious colleges which will have huge fees and prices after privatization.
St. Stephens college, which every student dreams to get admission in is also demanding autonomy.
Despite facing opposition from students and teachers, St. Stephen’s decided to go ahead with autonomy.
The governing body meeting continued even as students protested on the campus demanding participation. Many say the ‘principal is unwilling to participate in a democratic process’.
St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, declared through press release on February 25, 2017, that it would be preparing to become autonomous college.
We spoke to C.S. Rawat, the vice-president of Delhi University Teachers’ Association, who voiced his support for the students and faculty of St Stephen’s. He said, “Students and teachers of Stephen’s are in the right to protest against not taking their opinion before taking such a decision. Whatever these changes are, the students will definitely be on the losing side since a fee hike is inevitable.”