Despite protests by teachers and students, the governing body of St. Stephen’s College decided to seek autonomy for the institution. One of the officials of the college indicated that they have decided to seek autonomy status for the institute of which the governing body is the supreme decision-making body of the institution. Therefore, the institute has decided to go ahead with the proposal.
During the annual budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that more autonomy to the educational institutes. Later, Delhi University had formed a committee for its colleges, that are seeking autonomy status. Prestigious colleges of Delhi University like Hansraj, Ramjas, St. Stephens and SRCC, which are run by Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee, had approached HRD Ministry and Delhi University for autonomy status.
The governing body of St. Stephens called for an emergency meeting on February 25, 2017, and decided to seek autonomy status. On the other hand, members of DUTA or Delhi University Teachers’ Association and students sat on protest when the meeting was underway. They claimed that wider consultations must be held before reaching a conclusion regarding granting autonomy status.
DUTA indicated that granting autonomy status to these colleges does not mean that they will not be a part of Delhi University. Unless these colleges get varsity status and degree awarding powers, they come under the sphere of Delhi University. On the other hand, the colleges, which secured ‘A’ grade from NAAC for three consecutive times, are only eligible to seek autonomy status.
A total number of 500 students and 30 teachers signed a petition which was presented to the governing body. However, it rejected the plea and decided to go ahead based on the majority vote in this regard.