The Curious case of Autonomy in DU

Six colleges of Delhi University — St Stephen’s College, Hindu College, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Hansraj College, Sri Venkateswara College and PGDAV College to get status of "Autonomous Colleges"

Over the last few months there's a new debate in University of Delhi on the status of "Autonomous Colleges" for different colleges of DU.

The Delhi University administration is asking some of  it's constituent college to go for autonomous status. Colleges in the list of probables include St. Stephen's College, Hindu College, Hansraj College, Sri Ram College of Commerce, PGDAV College, Sri Venkateswara College. According to various media reports, the University admin have met chairpersons of these six colleges and have asked them to apply for autonomous status!

Many student groups and DUTA (Delhi University Teachers' Association) are out in full opposition of this move claiming Autonomous Colleges will lead to privatisation of Education. Protest Marches have been organised by DUTA and other groups against the proposed Autonomy status for DU colleges. Teachers claim Autonomous Colleges will lead to privatisation and Commercialisation of Education, massive fee hike in these colleges and degradation of Teaching standards.

"Once our colleges become Autonomous, the college admin will introduce self-finance courses which will see massive fee hike. Moreover, the Autonomous status will allow the Trust of College to use the brand name of reputed DU colleges and open its branches in different cities to serve the vested interests of private players," said a student who was part of the protest against autonomy in St. Stephen's College.

The proposed move for Autonomous Colleges comes in the backdrop of the massive seat cut for MPhil/PhD courses in JNU after implementation of UGC Gazette Notification. 

For many, Autonomy being talked for DU Colleges is restricted to Financial Autonomy and not Academic Autonomy.

Let's see, to what extent the curious case of Autonomy will lead us to in the coming Admission Season for DU!

Satya Prakash