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Stephen’s constitution amendment ‘mockery’ of DU rules, say teachers

Stephen’s constitution amendment ‘mockery’ of DU rules, say teachers
The controversy over amendments to the 102-year-old constitution of St Stephen’s college has escalated further with Delhi University (DU) teachers seeking intervention of the Vice-Chancellor, alleging that the institution is making a “mockery” of DU statutes and demanding that the university takes action.

Members of the Executive Council (EC), the university’s decision-making body, have written to acting Vice-Chancellor Sudhish Pachauri, saying if the university does not object to the move by St Stephen’s, other colleges will also follow its footsteps.

“As per DU statutes, a constituent college has to follow the rules of the university, which may be managed by a trust and, in case of a major deviation, a suitable action can be initiated against the college. If today this college is allowed to effect such changes, tomorrow other constituent colleges of the university maintained by different trusts may follow the same, making a mockery of the DU system which should not be allowed,” the letter stated.

Seeking a stay on the decision, the teachers said: “We expect a timely intervention in this regard by the university, asking the college to stay the passing of proposed changes unless DU examines the proposal and satisfies itself that proposed changes are not against the varsity calendar.” 

St Stephen’s had approved certain amendments in the college’s constitution at a meeting of the Governing Body (GB) last week despite eight out of 18 members abstaining.

University authorities, however, maintained that though the step can lead to Stephen’s derecognition by DU and subsequent withdrawal of funding by the University Grants Commission (UGC), they will take note of the issue only after a communication has been received from the college about what the amendments are. “The college can lose its DU affiliation, and hence, funding from the UGC if the amendments are not in accordance with DU rules. But we need to know first what the amendments are,” officials said.

The approved draft of the amendments will be taken up for consideration at another GB meeting scheduled three months later before being notified as the amended constitution. College Principal Valson Thampu is tight-lipped on the issue.
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