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Stephen’s GB secy quits, only 10 members attend meeting

The recording secretary of the St Stephen’s college’s Governing Body (GB) on Monday resigned in protest against the proposed amendment in the institution’s 102-year-old constitution even as the meeting took place despite eight members abstaining from the same.

The GB meet during which a decision was to be taken on the draft circulated by principal Valson Thampu proposing major changes in the constitution, went on for around seven hours.

“The GB recording secretary and HOD, Economic Department, Sanjeev Garewal resigned from the post this morning,” sources said.

According to the constitution, the Supreme Council (SC) and the GB of the College shall have authority to cancel, vary or amend the rules affecting their respective functions, provided this is done at two special meetings of these bodies, called for the purpose, at which at least two-thirds of the members will be present, and a two-thirds majority is obtained. 

These special meetings must be separated by at least three months. However, out of 18 members, only ten of them were present during the meeting resulting in a truncated Governing Body.

Principal’s nominee Justice Manmohan Sareen and Delhi University’s nominees, JP Sharma and Prakash Narain too abstained from the meeting.

While out of four teachers’ representatives in the GB there are only two at present and they too abstained, leaving the meeting short of quorum. However, Thampu as well as the remaining GB members remained tight-lipped about what transpired in the meeting.

Thampu, who is retiring in February next year, has come up with a draft amendment in which he has proposed that the principal be empowered to take disciplinary action against students or staff irrespective of the Governing Body’s opinion.

He has also called for giving a major say to the Church of North India (CNI) in the functioning of the college, handing over the powers to appoint faculty and admissions to its Supreme Council (SC) and recasting the composition of the Governing Body (GB). 

The amendment also proposes to replace St Stephen’s College Trust, which currently runs the college, with a St Stephen’s Educational Society that will have the power to establish Stephen’s-like private institutions across the country. 
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