St Stephens College has started the procedure for inducting a new principal for the college.
The National Commission for Minority Education Institutions (NCMEI) upheld DUTAâ€™s contention that Thampuâ€™s appointment was â€œpatently illegal.â€? And asked Delhi University (DU) to start the process for the appointment of a principal at the college, Thampu had been appointed Officer on Special Duty in 2006 for a term of three years after former principal Anil Wilson took over as the vice-chancellor of Himachal Pradesh University.
The Church of North India (CNI), which governs the college, met members of the collegeâ€™s supreme council and decided to induct a new principal by March 15. The Church claims that the controversy on Thampuâ€™s appointment has adversely affected the collegeâ€™s reputation.
â€œThe collegeâ€™s unblemished reputation has certainly taken a beating due to this controversy. The appointment of a principal is now inevitable,â€? said Reverend Enosdas Pradhan, general secretary, CNI.
Thampu can apply for the principalâ€™s post, but will have to go through the screening procedure. â€œHe (Thampu) is a priest of our church and is responsible for bringing the college back into the folds of the CNI. We would be happy if he applies for the post,â€? Pradhan said.
The college has laid down new eligibility conditions for principal. The new criteria, met by incumbent Reverend Valson Thampu, do not require the principal to meet standards fixed by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
According to the new conditions, the principal need not be a PhD. But he/she has to be between 50 and 60 years old. The supreme council of the college said the new principal would have to meet only its criteria, not those set by the UGC or Delhi University.
Less than a year ago, however, it had said it was mandatory for the new principal to meet standards set by both the bodies. The UGC and Delhi University require all college principals to be PhDs. Though Thampu recently got a PhD in theology from Allahabad Agricultural University, the National Council for Minority Education Institutions has asked DU to scrutinise the legitimacy of the degree.