Hindu College hasn’t applied for autonomy, says Principal

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New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Facing with protests from students and teachers, Delhi University’s Hindu College on Tuesday clarified that it has not applied for autonomy.

“No, we have not applied (for autonomy),” college Principal Anju Srivastava told IANS in an sms.

A group of Leftist students earlier in the morning had picketed the college, alleging it had reached out to the University Grants Commission for status of ‘autonomy’, which has understood by many stakeholders to be a route to privatisation.

Students from All India Students’ Association, a group affiliated with Communist Party of India- Marxist-Leninist, accused the college of applying for autonomy “surreptitiously”.

A group of teachers also criticised the college for its alleged move and cited a “meeting” of Hindu and St. Stephen’s College at Ministry of Human Resource Development held on Tuesday as proof that something is afoot.

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“AAD is vehemently against the way Hindu College is being pushed towards commercialisation and privatisation in the garb of this autonomous scheme… we express our total solidarity with the teachers, students and employees of St. Stephen’s and Hindu (college), who rejected this scheme,” Academic for Action and Development, a teachers’ group, said in a statement.

As per a new framework towards building a “liberalised regime in the education sector”, the Ministry of Human Resource Development in March had decided to grant graded autonomy to a total of 52 universities and eight colleges.

The autonomy thus granted would entail freedom in designing courses, starting off-campus centres, skill development courses, research parks and any other new academic programmes, while still being under the ambit of the UGC.

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