Opposing the appointment of a new bursar for St. Stephen’s College, some members of the faculty organised a protest meeting at Church Lane here on Thursday.
“The appointment of a new bursar is problematic because the Principal has not been consulted about the appointment,” said St. Stephen’s Dean Nandita Narain.
Explaining the context, Ms. Narain said: “The college constitution states that the Governing Body should appoint the treasurer who will appoint the bursar.”
“The University Ordinance XVIII states that the Governing Body should appoint the bursar based on the recommendation of the Principal. To harmonise the conflicting rules the Principal is appointed treasurer who in turn appoints the bursar,” she added.
However, a new Treasurer, Nirmal Andrews, was appointed at the November 17 meeting of the Governing Body.
“Since there has been a flouting of University’s rules by not allowing the Principal to recommend the bursar, we fear that the University Grants Commission may stop funding the college. Ninety-five per cent of the college funding comes from the UGC and teachers are also paid their salaries by the UGC,” Ms. Narain said.
Their other concern is that the bursar’s appointment will give the Church of North India (CNI) control over the college management since Mr. Andrews is also one of the three nominees of the Bishop in the Governing Body.
The decision to hold a meeting of the Governing Body on Thursday at the residence of the Bishop instead of the college premises is also being viewed as a symbolic effort to wrest control by the CNI.
A faculty member said: “The interference by the CNI in the college affairs has increased in recent years. According to Supreme Court rules, an institute which is receiving government funding cannot have more than 50 per cent reservations. But there is 60 per cent reservation in St. Stephen’s College including 50 per cent reservation for Christians. Within the 50 per cent there is 40 per cent reservation for CNI candidates and within it there are further reservations for the Delhi diocese. This is unconstitutional.”
“Also the UGC funds 95 per cent of the college expenditure. The remaining 5 per cent should be funded by the CNI. However, the CNI has not paid the amount and the shortfall is made up through student fees,” the faculty member added.