Published: 17th May 2019
Despite Prinicpal's warning, St Stephen's teachers, students to hold dharna for preservation of academic integrity
Following recent developments, the Students' Union members have written an open letter to the principal, expressing their concerns
St Stephen's College, Delhi was always talked about for its impeccable academic record and celebrated alumni. However, for the past few days, the college is in the news — not for any accomplishment, but for a recent decision made by the college's principal and the events that followed.
There were reports saying that John Varghese, the college principal had decided to include a member of the Supreme Council (comprising of six members of the Church of North India) in the college's interview panel. Three faculty members had condemned this act by issuing a press release, but all three of them — Ashley NP, Nandita Narain and Abhishek Singh were issued separate warning letters saying that their statements were factually incorrect. Now, the college's staff association along with the students and alumni are staging a dharna on May 17 at the front gate of St Stephen's, demanding the preservation of academic integrity of the admission process and the withdrawal of these warning letters.
The teachers, who'll be wearing black bands, have also demanded the safeguarding of the College Constitution. The college had issued another notice on May 16, banning protests and media presence inside the campus, but that has deterred them little. Recently, the college's chairman, the Rt Revd Warris K Masih had issued a notice saying that the admission process to the college will be overseen by a member of the Governing Body nominated by the Supreme Council. "This is no way would impact the standard of education of the students who would be admitted to college," the notice reads.
Students extend support to the teachers
The students of the college have also extended their support to the teachers protesting the new decision by the principal. On May 17, the college's Students' Union has issued an open letter to the principal where they've expressed their concerns. "The students are having a lot of concerns and being an elected body, we feel it is our duty to take this matter to you and seek a clarification so that everyone has a clear idea as to what exactly is happening in our college and hence help in restoring the peaceful atmosphere in college," it reads.
"The students strongly feel that the Supreme Council is starting to interfering more in the affairs of the college. Though right now it is just about the admission process, we are very much worried we will not be a 'liberal' Arts and Science college and become a college which is going to be completely programmed and controlled by the management like many other minority institutions in the country," reads the letter.
Read the entire letter here: