The row within St Stephen’s college administration took a new twist with members of the Supreme Council and the Governing body for the first time raising doubts about the eligibility of Valson Thampu to be principal.
This was revealed in an affidavit filed by Chairman (Bishop of Delhi) Rev. Sunil Kumar Singh on behalf of the college’s authorities in the Delhi High Court recently, in response to a case filed by vice principal M.S. Frank, questioning Thampu's qualification.
Let HC intervene “Given the current situation,” the Bishop urged the court to “settle the issue one way or the other so no confusion persists.”
Basing his petition on RTI replies from university, Frank contended Thampu had not cleared the National Eligibility Test (NET), which is “mandatory for the post of a principal” and had wrongly claimed exemption from it.
Only teachers who have a PhD completed by 2002 or an MPhil completed by 1993 in the “concerned subject” (subject taught in the college) are exempted from NET. Thampu has a Phd in Theology from Allahabad Agricultural Institute. Theology is not taught at St. Stephen's.
Thampu, in his reply, said the issue of his qualification had been considered earlier by UGC and DU and both have concluded he fulfils qualifications laid down in the University Ordinance. “As per UGC rules, a principal only needs to have a Phd, not necessarily in a subject taught in college. NET is not a requirement to be appointed a principal but only for a lecturer,” the reply said.
The court will take a stand on the issue on February 23, the next date of hearing.