St Stephen’s College yesterday announced that the interview panel for UG admissions from this year, for the first time will also include one member of the college’s Supreme Council, which comprises six members of the Church of North India.
This decision has invited a lot of flak from teacher groups and student groups in the University.According to the college constitution, the Supreme Council controls “religious and moral instruction of students of the College and of all matters affecting its religious character as a Christian College of the Church of North India”. The constitution also clearly mentions that the Council “shall have no jurisdiction over the administration of the College”.
“The decision of including Fathers from Church (Members of supreme counsel) to admission committee is arbitrary and condemnable. This would weaken the secular fabric of the university. This is not only against the constitution of the college but also against the principles laid down in India’s constitution. If the decision is not withdrawn, the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad would be forced to mobilise large student community to raise voice against this autocratic decision.” ABVP said in a statement.
Three teacher representatives of the college’s GB — Nandita Narain, N P Ashley and Abhishek Singh have condemned the decision and asked the college to take this order back.
Nandita Narain, NP Ashley and Abhishek Singh in a statement issued yesterday said that this decision violates the College Constitution. “The 1992 judgment of the Hon’ble 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% weightage only because the interviews were conducted solely by the teachers of the college,” it said.
The college today issued a formal warning to Nandita Narain.
“I wish to bring to your notice that what you falsely claimed as the decision of the principal is in fact the decision of the Supreme Council which has the sole power to decide on the admission policy as the college is a Christian minority institution,” College Principal Varghese said.
“You may take this letter as a formal warning issued to you. You are advised not to repeat such irresponsible and unbecoming behaviour in future failing which the college will be forced to take appropriate action against you,” the letter further said.