St Stephen’s College principal has circulated a letter by the chairman of the governing body asking him to proceed with the application of autonomy to the college. The letter was shared with the teachers on Friday.
St. Stephen’s principal John Varghese said, “We are on our way to attain autonomy and are in the process of applying for it as a constituent college of the University of Delhi.”
Autonomy means that the college will no longer be a constituent college of the Delhi University. It will be free to take its own decisions in framing syllabus, fee structure, starting new college branches and others.
On March 3, St Stephen’s principal John Varghese had assured the staff and students of the college that he would write to the governing body seeking permission to have discussion with stakeholders before application.
The letter by the chairman of the governing body to the principal, dated April 14, read, “The governing body is the sole decision making body of the college on policy and governance. I therefore advise you to proceed as per the decision of the governing body. In this regard, the governing body has authorised you to execute and sign all necessary proposals, documents, applications, forms, letters, undertakings to the university, University Grants Commission and make requests for requisite grants in aid.”
However, teachers and students said that no discussion has taken place in this regard and the letter is now being circulated. The teachers in the college said that with this letter, the principal is retracting from what he had promised.
DUTA president Nandita Narain said. “The move reeks of autonomy for management, and not for teachers. Not only will autonomy take away the protective umbrella of DU safeguarding professor’s rights, but it will invite autocracy and privatisation, bringing the prestige and ranking of St. Stephen’s down”.
“The university ordinance does not have legal provision for dean of college to invite colleges to apply for autonomy. How can they do this?” said a senior teacher of the college.
The other colleges that may ask for autonomy as well are Shri Ram College Of Commerce, Hindu College, Hansraj College and Sri Venkateshwara College.