Asserting that it will retain its ‘tried and trusted’ interview process during admission, St Stephen’s College on Thursday urged the Delhi University to abide by the 1992 Supreme Court judgement and “avoid creating an unpleasant situation” for students seeking admission in the college.
In a sharp reply to the university, the college said all candidates who apply to St Stephen’s will face the same admission procedures, without discrimination. The latest turn of events is expected to escalate the ongoing admission dispute between both the sides.
The Delhi University had recently warned St. Stephen’s College that it would declare “null and void” all admissions made by it in violation of the Central Universities Entrance Test (CUET) guidelines. In a letter to DU Registrar Vikas Gupta, the college principal John Varghese on Thursday pointed out that to suddenly forget the process that the college has followed and which the University has approved for the last four decades and more is “strange indeed”.
“The decision taken by the college to retain its stellar, tried and trusted interview process and other related steps in the admission process shall continue. All candidates who apply to the college shall face the same admission procedures, without discrimination,” Varghese said. Referring to the 1992 judgement of Supreme Court, the principal said, “St Stephen’s College as a Christian minority institution has its admission procedures approved by the highest court in the land and guaranteed by the Constitution of India.
“I feel that you have not taken into consideration this important judgement, which incidentally, was brought up by a similar situation back in the 80’s between DU and the College,” the letter read. The principal stressed that disrespecting the judgement would amount to contempt of court. “This is neither becoming of a central university nor does it set forth a proper precedent. In deference to the judgement of the highest court in the land,” he wrote.
The retort from the college comes after the university asked the college to withdraw the prospectus containing an “incongruent policy immediately” and said any admission done in violation of the university’s admission norms would not be recognised and treated as annulled for all purposes. The prospectus for the undergraduate courses 2022-23 stated, “St Stephen’s College will adopt the CUET as the eligibility criteria with 85 per cent weightage for CUET and the college’s interview for shortlisted candidates with a weightage of 15 per cent.”
Meanwhile, Varghese mentioned in the letter that the Prospectus of the College for Admissions 2022-2023 was uploaded taking into consideration “our obligations, duties, rights and privileges as one of the premier educational institutions in this country”. The St. Stephen’s College, asserting its minority institution character, has said it will accord 85 per cent weightage to the CUET score and 15 per cent to physical interviews for all categories of candidates, a stand strongly opposed by DU, which wants interviews to be conducted only for the reserved category students.
On May 9, DU wrote to St Stephen’s College, asking it to conduct admissions to the unreserved seats solely based on CUET scores, senior officials said. However, in an admission notice posted on its website last month, St Stephen’s College said it would give 85 per cent weightage to CUET scores and 15 per cent to interviews for all categories of students. The college also said that it reserves the right to proceed with admissions in accordance with its own admission policy guaranteed to it as a minority institution.