Stephen's constitution: Teachers slam Thampu proposal; GB meet postponed

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New Delhi, Nov 20: Teachers have slammed a proposal by St Stephen's principal Valson Thampu for amending the college's 102-year-old constitution even as a meeting of the Governing Body (GB) during which the draft was to be tabled was postponed today.

College principal Valson Thampu, who is retiring in February next year, has circulated a draft amendment to select college teachers in which he has proposed that the principal be empowered to take disciplinary action against students or staff irrespective of the GB's opinion.

Stephen's constitution: Teachers slam Thampu proposal; GB meet postponed

He has also called for giving a major say to the Church of North India (CNI) in the functioning of the college.

"The draft was supposed to be placed before the GB in a meeting scheduled on November 23, but that meeting was today postponed," a senior college official said told PTI although he did not elaborate on the reason behind the postponement.

Meanwhile, teachers at the college claimed that the draft was prepared without consulting them and is not only going to pave the way for "dictatorial" functioning but would also make the institution inaccessible for "non-Christian" students and faculty.

Thampu, however, claimed that it is the Supreme Council's decision to amend the constitution and there is no violation of procedures or law in the same.

"Whatever has been proposed is very much within the ambit of the law. I can challenge anyone to find any legal or procedural loophole in the same," he said.

Nandita Narain, mathematics professor at college, said, "This attempt by Thampu at the tail-end of his tenure is aimed at eliminating any kind of democratic set up in college. From admissions to appointments, the elected bodies will have no say in it and, on top of it, the principal will be the sole disciplinary action-taking authority."

Another teacher, speaking on condition of anonymity, claimed that "the principal has to be Christian, faculty appointments have to be in favour of Christians, activities will be conducted to promote the religion".

"If the draft is approved, the college will become practically inaccessible for non-Christian students and faculty," the teacher added.

PTI

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