Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) organised a Joint protest rally for both the teachers and students of Delhi University from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar against granting of autonomous status to DU Colleges.The protest saw a large number of teachers from almost every college and student organisations like AISA,NSUI,KYS,SFI,CYSS,YS,AIDSO,etc.
The autonomous college scheme is being pushed by the Government directly and through University Grants Commission (UGC) & University administration.The proposal to grant autonomous status to colleges identified on the basis of accredition and the ranking is to incentive commercialization in form of self-financing. UGC has set the target of making at least 10 percent of eligible colleges autonomous by the end of the XII Plan Period.At DU,without even referring the matter to the Statutory Bodies,the Vice Chancellor setup a committee to consider the proposals sent by colleges.Six colleges have till now applied for autonomy including St. Stephen’s College,Hindu College,Hans Raj College,Shri Ram College of Commerce,Sri Venkateswara and PGDAV College.
Around 50 teachers have resigned from their administrative posts in St Stephens College of Delhi University,including top posts like Head Of Departments.
The autonomous college scheme will have a direct impact on the fees structure of the colleges.It is a direct assault on both affordable and quality education.The UGC’s 12th plan says that the fund given as autonomous grant can’t be used for creation of posts,payment of salaries of College staff,payment of honourarium to existing staff,to meet normal college contingency requirements or to subsidies.It adds that the examination fees should be fixed so that the income from the fees can meet the expenditure on examinations and other staff appointed in the examination cell.
Financial Autonomy implies that the fees has to be raised in order to meet expenses. The cost of education will steeply increase from every aspect from hostel facilities to examination and will be seen as a way of generating money.
DUTA has taken move to resist this move as the autonomous college scheme will lessen the gap between private and public institutions. It will adversely affect the affordable and quality education.This will hit on all sections of the society especially women,economically deprived students and students from backward and vulnerable sections.
DUTA urged that a joint movement by students,teachers, karamcharis,parents and concerned citizens is the only way ahead.