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Stephen’s faculty divided over council’s powers

delhi Updated: Jun 21, 2008 01:08 IST
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Faculty members at St Stephen’s are now at war over the supreme council’s decision on cut-off percentage and interview weightage for Christian and non-Christian SC/ST candidates.

While some are defending the supreme council’s right to take decisions on admission matters, others say the council must consult the governing body on this. “The letter written by members of the governing body to the bishop states that the supreme council has usurped the authority of the governing body,” said Nandita Narain, HoD, mathematics. “However, the college constitution clearly states that the supreme council is the final authority in all matters affecting the religious character of the college,” said Narain.

She added that before 2007, the governing body had never been consulted for admission policy matters. “In 2007, when the Christian quota was increased, the council took the opinion of the teachers. But the decision was theirs,” she said.

However, members of the governing body maintained that the council could not circumvent the governing body and interfere in the admission process. “The college constitution states that admission is a part of administration and all administration falls under the purview of the governing body,” said A.D. Mathur, member of the governing body. He said the council consists of four members who are not aware of the functioning of the colleges. “But the governing body consists of the council members, teacher representatives and university representatives. So, any decision taken is completely transparent and well debated,” said Mathur.

Another teacher clarified that they were not opposed to the council’s decision to increase Christian quota from 30 to 40 per cent since this pertains to the Christian character of the college. “But changing the interview weightage from 15 per cent to 10 per cent is purely an admission related matter. So is the cut-off matter,” said the teacher. “These cannot be decided by the council without consulting the governing body.”

The member said the Body was awaiting a response from the bishop and would act accordingly. “We have asked for a meeting for the governing body but the Bishop seems to be avoiding the issue,” the source said.

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