Sandeep Dikshit’s parallel “St. Stephen’s Alumni Association” has ruffled quite a few feathers among the college authorities. The College has reacted sharply to Dikshit’s move of setting up an alumni association, independent of the institute’s official alumni body.
The college has issued a formal statement on its official website, dissociating itself from any such alumni association, thereby forbidding Dikshit’s group to use the college logo, motto or funds.
“St. Stephen’s College does not recognise this association. They are not entitled to use our logo or the name of the college to raise funds for any purpose. Nothing that this group does, will impact the college in any way,” said a college official.
The college, which was unaware of the formation of a parallel alumni body, has clarified its stance regarding the functioning of its official alumni association. “There is a fully-functional alumni association, which is under the patronage of the Principal, Reverend Valson Thampu and headed by Ved Marwah. It is very strange that Dikshit has gone ahead and formed another Association. In no way is that group authorised to use the college’s name for its functioning or (to) represent the interests of the college on a public forum,” added the official.
Dikshit, however, maintained that the college had no reason to interfere with the alumni association formed outside the patronage of the institute. “I am an alumnus of the college and I maintain that the college is no longer the same. St Stephen’s has no right to object to the formation of this group since we are just looking at bringing together fellow Stephenians and holding discussions and seminars,” said Sandeep Dikshit.
The founders of the group have also claimed that the group will not bear any links to the college’s activities and that its establishment is legal as per the Societies’ Registration Act (XXI) of 1860. “As per the Act, seven people together can set up such a society. It has been formed because we want to contribute towards nation building and the betterment of the college,” said Ashish Joshi, media coordinator for Dikshit’s alumni association and director, Ministry of Minority Affairs.
Dikshit’s alumni association has also expressed its displeasure at the lack of accountability vis-a-vis funds on part of the College. “There is no record of how the funds are being used by the college. Many alumni feel that the college’s alumni body is being used for networking rather than for the benefit of the alumni. We don’t want the college’s funds but insist that the process of nominating an alumni body by the college be made more democratic,” added Joshi.