Delhi University teachers opposed to the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) Autonomous Colleges scheme today staged a protest at an event organised by UGC to educate college principals about the scheme. The UGC had on November 10 announced an orientation programme for college principals aiming to familiarise colleges with the Autonomous Colleges scheme. Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) staging a demonstration on Lodhi Road said the scheme granted “arbitrary powers” to college governing bodies to determine fees and start courses in revenue generating mode.
“By touting autonomy as a way to improve quality and further academic excellence, the government wants to abdicate its responsibility by refusing to allocate adequate funds to meet the severe infrastructure deficit,” DUTA president Rajib Ray said.
The move to forcibly convert established Delhi University colleges into autonomous institutions is an agenda to commercialise, he said, adding that, “The cost of education will steeply increase; every aspect from tuition fees to hostel facilities, and examinations will become means of generating money”.
The teacher’s body also criticised Graded Autonomy Scheme – another UGC initiative – and said it would make university rely on loans from Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) rather than UGC grants.
“The DUTA is committed to broadening the movement against the autonomous scheme by reaching out to students, parents and members of civil society to build opinion against these insidious moves of the government,” Ray said.