St. Stephen's set for renovation after 70 years

New Delhi: The prestigious St. Stephen's College of Delhi University (DU) has for the first time in 70 years undertaken an endeavor for major renovation work as well as an academic refurbishment.

The modifications have already begun being implemented at the college with the library being made air-conditioned along with 13 other lecture halls. The alumni of the prestigious college have also shown their support for the renovation of the college premises.

The college has come up with a master plan for renovation that includes projects such as the development of a centre for economic studies and setting up a chair for economic research, construction of an amphitheatre as well as a guesthouse for visiting faculty, revamping the science block and general landscaping of the college premises.

College officials have said that the total cost for the renovation and development may rnge between Rs.40 - 50 crores. They informed that the architects that have been employed by the college are currently working on designs for the new structures that will be constructed.

St. Stephen's principal Velson Thampu said, "The renovation work will begin as soon as we receive the necessary clearances from the authorities. The contributions being made by the alumni will be of immense help to us and taking this endeavor forward."

Velson Thampu informed that 50 tonnes of split air-conditioning units had been installed in the library whereas 40 tonnes of AC units had been installed in the lecture halls. The alumni too contributed a 140-KV generator for power back up at the college. They also generated Rs.47 lakh for the college through cricket and gold tournaments with alumni of the Hindu College.

Thampu informed that the renovation of the science block alone would require around Rs.12.3 crore and the college has already received Rs.2.5 crore from the university. "We have already gotten the science block repaired as it was in a bad shape earlier and even the roof had leakages. We have also planned to introduce new courses in science such as microbiology and Biotechnology as well as to promote research," Thampu said.

The college is now waiting for clearance from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) in order to begin construction on the first floor of the Extension Block. It's construction has been sponsored by a former student. The floor would incorporate four lecture halls and four tutorial rooms.

Thampu informed that the college was working towards the promotion of research in the economics department by shifting the current economics department to an additional academic block and turn it into a dedicated center for economics research.

Thampu further added, "We have also sent a request to the university for granting us permission to increase the number of student intake in BA (Honors) Economics from 50 to 100 from the next academic session as we feel that many deserving students are not able to gain admission at St. Stephens every year."
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