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St Stephen’s: Issues settled amicably

All issues were “amicably” settled at the St Stephen’s College governing body meeting on Tuesday,with all items on the agenda being discussed at length,according to top college officials who were part of the meeting.

Written by Deepu Sebastian Edmond | New Delhi |
November 18, 2009 12:38:55 am

All issues were “amicably” settled at the St Stephen’s College governing body meeting on Tuesday,with all items on the agenda being discussed at length,according to top college officials who were part of the meeting.

Sources said Election Commissioner S Y Qureshi played a crucial role as a “neutral umpire,” so that a “new beginning” could be made.

This was the second part of the 220th meet of the governing body —the meeting earlier scheduled in October 28 was adjourned.

Qureshi attended the meet after the Delhi High Court gave him the permission to do so on Monday. He is principal Valson Thampu’s representative in the governing body.

“We had a productive meeting and all outstanding issues have been resolved,” was all Qureshi was willing to say. MP Sandeep Dikshit,the alumni representative in the body,did not attend.

Meanwhile,signalling the end of hostilities,Thampu has stepped down as college treasurer and will be replaced by college supreme council member and former Environment Secretary Nirmal Andrews.

On the sidelines of the meeting,around 15 faculty members and a few students held a dharna outside the college to protest handing over of college finances to an outsider.

“We have come to understand that the university has written a letter to the college,stating that it would not approve of a bursar not appointed by the principal. What has happened is very unfortunate,” said Nandita Narain,dean and college media advisor,who was one of the protesters.

In order to circumvent a clash with the university,meanwhile,the body decided that the bursar will be appointed by the principal in consultation with the treasurer.

While Thampu has silenced his guns,Bishop Sunil Singh,too,has shown his intent to have peace by not pushing for an increase in the number of church-nominated members in the governing body. A status quo of sorts has been declared on the controversy surrounding the appointment of Enos Pradhan. This was achieved by the body agreeing that as long as church representation is not increased,the Church of North India Commission of Education will be seen as the successor of the Synodical Board of Higher Education without an amendment to the college constitution.

Though the members declared that all items on the agenda were passed unanimously,fact remains that at least two items were removed from the agenda before it was presented to the body.

The items removed include the proposal to write to the National Assessment and Accreditation Council to ask it to accredit the college,and proposals to start new courses.

An observer of Stephen’s politics opined that the compromise plan could be an admission from both factions that there was no way out,after Delhi High Court Chief Justice A P Shah refused to entertain a petition on the issue,asking whether the court had the authority to pass orders on a “purely internal dispute in the governing body of a college society”.

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