Published: 01st June 2018
Do the math: How autonomous status of Delhi Univerisity colleges can force students to drop out
Autonomy status to colleges at Delhi University will add to the already-massive cost of living for the students. That's not what high-schoolers imagine when they apply at DU, writes an alumna
It was a regular evening after 12th standard commerce tuitions. The usual jargon contemplating what to do after school was on. Options were abundant — from commerce to public policy, from CA to BCom but these were all practical aspects of the after-school plan. The dream lifestyle would be being a student of Delhi University! Global fests, its super-popular alumni and of course its specialised courses and active extra-curricular — street plays, dance societies, to name just a few.
So the imagined lifestyle was set and I was all geared to working towards it. But while it mattered to me, my parents had other concerns - how much money would they have to shell out for my graduation course? And eventually, it became a concern for me too.
I remember the day when the financial calculations were happening and we enquired about the fee for the whole year — it was mere Rs 12,0000. And I rejoiced! This meant that I could go to my dream college and pursue the subjects I wanted to under one of the best faculties in the country. I felt my prayers were answered.
It wasn't just me for whom a nominal fee was a boon — there were and still are hundreds and thousands of career dreams that rely on the fact that colleges affiliated to Delhi University admit students on a government-supported concessional fee. The reduced fee, came as a mighty relief, as the cost of living as a student in Delhi could be quite high. The sprouting PGs and rented accommodation near the colleges earned a lot of students' interest to study in Delhi, and of course, their parents will to send them to the city.
Now, imagine when the nominal fee is scraped by the government. How many dreams will be shattered? "There are so many students who are forced to drop out because of the fee hike in Delhi University colleges," say the members AISA association, that has been regularly protesting against the autonomous status of St Stephen's College and Hindu College.
"The autonomous status means that the government is going to take away the funding and college fee will add to the existing and massive expenses for the students," Madhurima Kindu, AISA secretary India informs. "What about the students who have already spent two-year worth money in Delhi and will have to go back following a fee hike?" she asks.
That's exactly why students have come out in huge numbers to protest against the autonomous status after a full commission meeting of the UGC took place on May 24. "The UGC had earlier bent down to the demands of students to restart non-NET fellowship after the Occupy UGC movement. We will launch a similar movement if UGC doesn't heed to our demands of scrapping autonomous status on 24th", said Madhurima.
As an alumnus, whose parents like many others struggled to provide a lifestyle in Delhi, it is easy to say that a lot of students would wish that UGC bows down to students demand this time as well.