New Delhi: The row over the decision of St Stephen’s College Principal John Varghese to include a member of the Supreme Council in the interview panel for selection of students for admission escalated on Tuesday with the college issuing a “formal warning” to a member of the Governing Body who had protested the decision.
In a letter to Nandita Narain, who on Monday issued a press release signed by three teachers of the college, Varghese said she had issued “false and irresponsible” comments to the media concerning the revised admission guidelines passed by the Supreme Council of St Stephen’s College.
“I wish to bring to your notice that what you falsely claimed as the decision of the principal is in fact the decision of the Supreme Council which has the sole power to decide on the admission policy as the college is a Christian minority institution,” Varghese said.
He said guidelines were duly reported in the governing body held on March 14, 2019 in the presence of the teachers’ representatives.
The letter, a formal letter of warning, said Narain had “deliberately” chosen to “ignore the facts”.
It said the press release was “complete concoction, factually and legally incorrect”, and against the code of professional ethics and ethos of the institution.
“You may take this letter as a formal warning issued to you. You are advised not to repeat such irresponsible and unbecoming behaviour in future failing which the college will be forced to take appropriate action against you,” the letter said.
The members of the Governing Body of the college had on Monday accused Varghese of taking an “illegal decision” to include a member of the Supreme Council in the interview panel for selection of students for admission to the college and sought withdrawal of the decision.
The Supreme Council is a subset of six members of the Governing Body (managing committee) who are all members of the Church of North India (CNI).
St Stephen’s College includes Supreme Council in interview panel for students’ selection:
In the release issued by Narain, Associate Professor in the department of mathematics, the members said that Varghese made the shocking announcement of including a member of the Supreme Council in the interview panel at a meeting of the college staff council.
The Chairperson of both the Supreme Council and the Governing Body is the Bishop of Delhi, and the Principal is the Member Secretary of both the bodies.
The release said the decision was in violation of the college constitution which categorically stipulates that the Supreme Council shall have no jurisdiction in the administration of the college.
“Never in the history of the college has a non-academic person from outside the college faculty been a member of the admission process,” the release said.
The Governing Body members also said that no such decision had been announced by Varghese in its meeting held on March 14.
They said the Principal had made this unilateral announcement in the Staff Council and he had acted in violation of powers.
The release said the undersigned teachers “strongly condemn the illegal and unacademic decision taken by the Principal that could compromise the academic integrity of our admission process, and demand that it is withdrawn.”
It is understood that a decision has also been taken that cut-offs for interviews could be dropped up to 25 per cent for those belonging to CNI Delhi diocese-which manages the college-compared to the general category students.
Use Vitamins, Minerals Rich Diet to Fight Against COVID-19 :says Expert
During a session held at the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the health experts stressed the need for inclusion of vitamins and minerals in daily diet to build immunity for the battle against the COVID-19.
The present pandemic has brought the focus back on the role of vitamins as part of nutrition going beyond popular proteins and carbohydrates, they said on Saturday. The experts weighed in that traditional Indian foods and natural herbs are a potent combination to avert threat from the deadly virus.
“There are several foods which are rich in natural minerals and nutrients, but we destroy their nutritional value in the course of our cooking and consumption practices. Wheat, which in its original form is Dalia, it has important minerals like phosphorus. Still, in our strange wisdom we powder it into a refined maida which is nothing but starch and increases weight and risk of diabetes,” said Dr Shikha Sharma, founder and managing director of Dr Shikha’s NutriHealth.
Dr Sharma named traditional food items and Ayurvedic herbs that can increase immunity level in the body. “Barley, Channa, Sattu, seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, chia and flax among others that can be included in diets for a nutrition boost across all age groups. Ashwagandha and Giloy are potent herbs that can be given to both seniors and children. They purify the blood, build the body’s immunity, reduce stress and keep intact, healthy pH level in the body,” she added.
The session was held while concluding the second edition of the ‘Illness to Wellness’ series themed ‘Building immunity through nutritious food during COVID-19’ by ASSOCHAM. The experts also dismissed the need for a protein or carbohydrate-rich diet, instead advocated for a wholesome, balanced diet especially in times of Corona.
“The beauty of Indian traditions during COVID times is that we need the support of this amazing knowledge of Indian Ayurveda and traditions to beat it,” Dr Sharma said.
The corona virus has individually turned fatal for individuals with existing comorbidity, for such cases, Dr Sharma emphasised that the first course of action needs to address the health issues through long-term preventive measures such as exercising, avoiding sugar and a maintaining a balanced diet.
Meanwhile, Sangeeta Narayan, nutrition educator and wellness expert, commenting on the impact of proper diet on the mental health said, “Stress plays an essential part in mental health considering the current times. With everything changing, we have to be adaptive. The first and foremost thing is to have a proper 6-8 hour sleep, plan your day in advance, doing all the chores can be overwhelming so allocate tasks for each day whether living with a family or alone. Add fruits or food items rich in Vitamin C. They act as a stress buster and immunity booster. Having proper meals is important, especially a nutritious and nourishing breakfast. Exercising also plays a vital role in managing stress and keeping the mind clear.”
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