St Stephen's Admission 2019: The supreme council of the college is a subset of six members of the Governing Body (Managing Committee) and comprises all members of the Church of North India.
St Stephen’s Admission 2019: Ahead of the commencement of Delhi University’s admission season, a controversy has erupted at the prestigious St Stephen’s College. The Governing Body of the college has objected to the inclusion of a member of its supreme council in the interview panel that is meant for the selection of students. The governing body said that it is a violation of the college constitution. The supreme council of the college is a subset of six members of the Governing Body (Managing Committee) and comprises all members of the Church of North India. The Supreme Council, as per the college constitution has the right to control the religious and moral instruction of students.
Along with this the Supreme Council also controls all matters affecting its religious character as a Christian college of the Church of North India, according to a PTI report. The controversy started after the announcement was made at a meeting of the college’s Staff Council held on Monday about the inclusion of a member of the Supreme Council.
The “shocking announcement” was made by the college’s principal, Professor John Varghese, according to a statement issued by three members of the governing body. Nandita Narain, N P Ashley, Abhishek Singh, the three members of the governing body have further condemned the “illegal and unacademic decision taken by the Principal”. They also added that this “could compromise the academic integrity of our admissions process”. The members further demanded its withdrawal.
In a statement released by the trio, they have said that all the permanent teachers present at the meeting protested strongly against the “unilateral” announcement. “The decision is in violation of the College Constitution that categorically stipulates that the Supreme Council shall have no jurisdiction in the administration of the college,” the statement said. It further claimed that “Never in the history of the College has a non-academic person from outside the faculty of the college been a member of the admissions process. In the meeting of the governing body held on March 14, no such decision had been announced by the principal.”
The 1992 judgment of the Supreme Court that upheld the minority status of the college had permitted the college to have a separate admissions process including an interview with 15 per cent weightage only because the interviews were conducted solely by the teachers of the college, PTI quoted the statement, as saying. It added, “here is a clear conflict of interest in the principal bringing in another member of the Supreme Council into the interview panel for admissions, as it is the Supreme Council that selects the Principal, and will also take a decision about the renewal of his appointment for another term of five years.”