DU Refuses To Accept Reappointment of St. Stephen’s Principal

The Joint Registrar of the varsity directed a letter to the governing board of St. Stephens and the UGC deeming the invalidity of the reappointment of its principal John Varghese who was re-elected for a second term on March 1, 2021, for another five years. A series of communication has been going on between the college and the University.

St Stephens College and DU have landed in yet another clash, this time regarding the reappointment of Prof John Varghese. The University of Delhi has denied the rejection to recognize the reappointment of the principal, and in a letter to UGC, it stated the act as not fulfilling varsity rules and UGC guidelines.

The Joint Secretary of DU has directed a letter to St Stephen’s governing board Chairman P.C. Singh, saying that UGC norms were violated, deeming the re-appointment of the principal invalid and invalid, and the University will reaffirm Varghese.

The letter dated September 16 argued this to be amounting to the illegal and non-statutory continuation of Varghese, even after the end of his five-year term. It states “I am directed to request you to follow UGC regulations in true spirit for the appointment of principal in the college and in absence of the same, the university is constrained not to recognize Professor John Varghese as principal of the college (since) his five-year term (has) ended.”

UGC Regulation 2010 granted more power to governing bodies in case of appointing Principals in minority colleges for a period of five years. However, after the end of the term fresh selection was to be done. 

Varghese assumed office on March 1, 2016, two years post DU’s adoption of the UGC regulation. The 2018 amendment of the regulation stipulated the tenure of office of the principal to be 5 years with a further five-year extension depending on their performance.

This is the fourth round of communication between the college and DU. A report dated August 2022 stated St. Stephens’ Council blatantly violated the selection process, not abiding by the rules and regulations, therefore DU considers Varghese’s extension to be null and void. 

St. Stephens in response released a statement affirming the application of regulation with respect to minority institutions justifying Varghese’s reappointment as principal. A series of discussions have occurred in the past few months and with recent clashes over CUET  admissions, the issue of tensions between St. Stephens and Delhi University is in an uncertain but grave situation.

Read Also: ‘Delhi HC Forbids St. Stephen’s From Conducting Interviews for Non-Christian Candidates

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Hritwik Pratim Kalyan 

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A philosophy major in Hindu College and , you can find Hritwik listening to Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga all day long and cracking weird jokes.