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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Stephen’s move to honour alumini sparks controversy

Mallica Joshi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 13, 2012
First Published: 23:58 IST(13/12/2012) | Last Updated: 23:58 IST(13/12/2012)

The St Stephen's College Alumni Foundation has instituted the C.F. Andrews Distinguished Alumnus Awards to honour a long list of alumni achievers.

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"The C.F Andrews Award is being organised for the first time in the history of the college to recognise and honour the exemplary accomplishments of some of the alumni members. Some of the prominent honorees are Dr. SY Quraishi, former chief election commissioner, Kapil Sibal, Minister for Communication and IT, Salman Khurshid, Minister for External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor Minister for HRD, Ajit Kumar Seth, Cabinet Secretary among various others," said a statement issued by the alumni foundation.

But as it is with St Stephen's College, controversy was not far behind. No sooner had the awards announced, members of the Association of Old Stephanians, of which Sandeep Dikshit is a part, slammed the move.

“Why have people such as Khushwant Singh, Shekhar Kapoor, Sitaram Yechury, Mani Shankar Aiyar and Kirti Azad not been included in the list of awardees? The list is, in fact, full of people who are serving in the government. It seems like a move aimed at appeasement,” said Ashish Joshi, member of the Old Stephanians group.  

The group's Facebook page was also full of comments against the move with people asking the principal to clarify the process of selection.

The principal, Valson Thampu, however brushed aside any criticism.

“We are just making a beginning and there are a large number of people we have to honour since there are so many distinguished alumni.As for the people who have not been named in the list, there is always a tomorrow. These awards could be conferred many times a year as well," said Thampu.      

The ceremony will be conducted on Saturday where 57 members of the alumni will be honoured.


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