Delhi University's academic council members demand removal of St Stephen's College principal

Delhi University's academic council members demand removal of St Stephen's College principal

Some members of Delhi University's Academic Council on Friday demanded that St Stephen's College Principal John Varghese be immediately asked to demit office as he has already a five-year tenure. The demand was raised by four members, who are also part of the Democratic Teachers Front (DTF), during the zero hour of the meeting.

Varghese was appointed as the principal of St. Stephen's College on March 1, 2016, for five years. The Supreme Council of the college extended his tenure last year. In August last year, Delhi University wrote to St Stephen's governing body chairman Prem Chand Singh, declaring the extension of Varghese's tenure as "null and void", saying it was not done as per the due process.

In the letter dated August 22, 2022, the university alleged that the appointing authority of St. Stephen's College did not pay attention to the provisions of the University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations. "The principal of St. Stephen's College must be immediately asked to leave principalship as he has already completed five years and someone else must be appointed so that the college can begin promotions and appointments," the four council members -- Biswajit Mohanty, Monami Sinha, Vikas Gupta and Mithuraaj Dhusiya -- said in a statement.

They also demanded justice for the displaced temporary and ad hoc teachers. The members also protested against a Delhi University notification asking colleges to remain open from 8 am to 8 pm without any discussion with the Academic Council and the Executive Council. There are many problems with this, including infrastructure, and safety, they said.

According to the statement, the members "strongly fought" against salary delays and delay of grants and funds to 12 Delhi University colleges that are entirely funded by the Delhi government. They also condemned the "illegal" implementation of written examinations for the selection of physical education directors and librarians.