Church Has Sole Power on St Stephen’s Admission Policy, Writes Principal in Warning Letter to Dissenting Teachers
The letter from principal John Varghese has called the statement by three teachers, who are also members of the governing body, a concoction and advised them not to repeat such acts in future.
File photo of St Stephen's College.
New Delhi: A formal letter of warning has been issued to dissenting teachers of St Stephen's College who came up with a statement against Principal John Varghese for opening the premier institution’s doors to the church in the admission process of undergraduates.
The letter from the principal has called the statement by three teachers, who are also members of the governing body, a concoction and advised them not to repeat such acts in future.
The teachers who were issued the warning for criticising the principal’s decision are Nandita Narain, associate professor of mathematics, N P Ashley, assistant professor of English, and Abhishek Singh, assistant professor of Economics.
The letter from Varghese read, “It has come to my notice that you have issued a false and irresponsible comment to the media vide press release on May 13, 2019, on account of the revised admission guidelines passed by the Supreme Council of St Stephen’s College. 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.”
“Moreover, the said guidelines were duly reported in the governing body held on March 14, 2019, in the presence of the teachers’ representatives, it further read.
The principal said the teachers may take this letter as the “formal warning issued to you” and a advised them, “not to repeat such irresponsible and unbecoming behaviour in future, failing which the college will be forced to take appropriate action against you.”
This is for the first time in the history of St Stephen’s College that interview panels for undergraduate admissions would include a member of the college’s Supreme Council, which comprises six members of the Church of North India (CNI).
This would also be the first such step in involving a non-academic person from outside the college faculty to be a part of the admission procedure.
Varghese had made the unilateral announcement during a meeting of St Stephen’s College Staff Council which was met by strong protests from almost all permanent teachers.
The supreme council is a subset of six CNI members of the governing body (managing committee).
The chairperson of the supreme council and the governing body is the bishop of Delhi and member secretary of both the bodies is the college principal.
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