NEW DELHI -- The staff and students of Delhi's St Stephen's college are protesting against what they call the college's 'autocratic' decision to apply for autonomy. The teachers have decided to resign from all their administrative posts and will put in their papers on 2 March.
The governing body of St Stephen's college met on 25 February and decided to apply for an autonomous status without holding any consultations with the 'stakeholders'--the students, teaching and non-teaching staff. While the meeting was on, the students held a silent protest outside demanding the meeting be held only after due discussion with the stakeholders involved. But in vain.
The faculty and students staged another demonstration on 27 February in the college campus and marched to the Principal's residence demanding that he speak to the student body. According to a press release, issued by the students of the college, the principal was 'aggressive' and 'disrespected' teachers.
On 1 March, the principal summoned a meeting of student council members and other student representatives and told them that the governing body of the college had refused to meet students on the issue of autonomy, but he refused to inform the protesting students himself.
The students also claim that they have not been offered any 'clarity on infrastructure' or 'blueprint for this autonomy'.
The government, in its budget this year, spoke of initiatives to help educational institutions more autonomous but the students of St Stephen's college believe that the college's unilateral decision to apply for it without any consultations is an infringement of their rights and against the spirit of democracy that every college campus must foster.
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