Stephen’s is hiring, Christian candidates to get preference | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Stephen’s is hiring, Christian candidates to get preference

This is a second attempt at increasing Christian presence in the college, after Stephen’s upped the quota for Christian students from 40 per cent to 50 per cent around the time of admission this year, reports Ritika Chopra.

delhi Updated: Oct 15, 2008 00:01 IST
Ritika Chopra

St. Stephen’s College is set to make fresh appointments of permanent faculty members.

And if proceedings of the Governing Body (GB) meeting held last month (September 27) are anything to go by, the institution will focus on strengthening the meek representation of Christian teachers during this appointment drive.

Apart from reiterating the Supreme Council's mandate of giving preference to Christian candidates, the rough draft of the governing body meeting minutes, a copy of which is with Hindustan Times, states: “Excellent Christian students of our college should be groomed for these (teaching) positions, for which positions may be kept pending.”

This is a second attempt at increasing Christian presence in the college, after Stephen’s upped the quota for Christian students from 40 per cent to 50 per cent around the time of admission this year.

As ratified during the general body meeting, St. Stephen’s will make permanent appointments as per the Delhi University Ordinance and do so in a staggered manner over one-and-half years.

The college has had no permanent appointment to the faculty in the past three-and-half years.

According to several teachers and members of the governing body, who did not wish to be identified, the anxiety to increase the number Christian faculty members stems from the fact that only five out of the 55 permanent teachers are Christians.

In fact, Principal Valson Thampu had even floated the idea of fixed representation of 30 per cent for Christian teachers at a meeting between the heads of departments and the principal last month, said teachers.

Though Thampu denied having made any fixed representation comment, he did acknowledge the focus on recruitment of Christian teachers.

“St. Stephen’s has responsibility to take care of its minority character and having more faculty members could well be a way of doing it. People have to get rid of the paranoia that Christian teachers and academic excellence don’t go hand in hand. When I joined the college in 1973 about one third of the teaching staff was made up of Christians and St. Stephen’s was the best academic institution even then,” he said.

Members of the faculty seem to have no problem with this as long as merit is not bypassed as it was by former protem administrator M.S. Frank. Earlier this year, Frank’s decision of giving preference to a Christian woman over a more qualified candidate for an ad-hoc postition in the History department of the college was not well received by the faculty.

“Keeping the minority character in mind, the college feels that the number of Christians teachers should definitely go up. The teaching staff has no problem with this as long as there is no compromise on academic excellence,” said a teacher on conditions of anonymity.