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Stephens passes constitution amendment

In a move that may snap away its affiliation from Delhi University, St Stephen’s college has approved the amendments to the institution’s 102-year-old constitution despite a truncated Governing Body (GB) meeting with only ten out of eighteen members present.

The draft proposing the amendments was placed before the GB yesterday which deliberated on it during an eight-hour long meeting which was boycotted by four teacher representatives, two DU representatives, Principal’s nominee Justice Manmohan Sarin and the GB’s Recording Secretary Sanjeev Garewal who resigned from the post in protest against the amendment move.

According to constitution, no amendment can be passed without at least two-thirds of the members being present, and a two-thirds majority being obtained. The meeting still proceeded despite being short of “quorum”. While the college principal Valson Thampu and the present GB members on Monday remained tight-lipped about what transpired in the meeting, Thampu on Tuesday issued a “Facebook press statement” announcing that the amendment has been approved and a press conference called in this regard stands cancelled.

He also termed the abstention of teachers and DU representatives from the meeting as “a spirit of intolerance” and further called a couple of teachers as “pseudo-activists”.

However, it was not clear whether the amendment draft was passed as the proposed one or with certain changes. Calls and text messages to Thampu seeking clarification on the same went unanswered. The passed draft will be taken up in another GB meeting scheduled three months later before being notified as the amended constitution. While Thampu termed teacher and university representatives boycott as “a spirit of intolerance”, the statement made no mention of the abstention of Justice Manmohan Sarin and neither on the resignation of the recording secretary. 
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