Four members of Delhi University’s Academic Council and one member of its Executive Council have written to the V-C, asking him to intervene against the attempt by the Supreme Council of St Stephen’s College to “override the College Constitution and Staff Council and interfere with the admissions process”.
The students’ union also issued an open letter to the principal, condemning the move to have a Council member on the admission interview panel. Students and teachers, led by the St Stephen’s Staff Association, Friday protested outside the college.
EC member Indu Chandrasekhar and AC members Deo Kumar, Kanchan, Rajesh Kumar and Saikat Ghosh in their letter said, “The Supreme Council was constituted to oversee moral and religious instruction of students, matters affecting religious character of the college and appointment of principals. It can lay down policies pertaining to these roles but ought not to take up the role of evaluating candidates or students’ merit… The Council overstepped its privileges, sought to undermine statutory sanctity of the College Constitution and Staff Council by… forcing its way into the interview.”
They said the Council “must retract from its stated intention to interfere with the interview process” and urged V-C Yogesh Tyagi to “initiate prompt action to uphold best academic practices”.
The students’ union, in its letter, said, “… We are worried we will not be a ‘liberal’ arts and science college and become a college… completely programmed and controlled by the management like many other minority institutions in the country.”
At the protest Friday, staff association president Nandita Narain said interview panels should solely check academic merit of a student: “Nobody should dictate whether you’re a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ Christian.”
Principal John Varghese and Supreme Council Chairman Warris K Masih did not respond to calls or messages seeking a comment.