St. Stephen retracts suspension

Delhi University’s St. Stephen College retracts suspension order  issued amidst ongoing students protests.

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St. Stephen retracts Suspension

The college had ordered to debar more than 100 first-year students from writing the exams. This was a response to their low attendance in the morning assembly sessions. The entire university reacted to this news with an uproar. Following this uproar, St. Stephens withdrew its order to suspend students.

Principal’s Response on Initial Suspension 

The principal of St. Stephen’s, John Varghese, apologized for the situation. He termed it a miscommunication on the part of the authorities. He sent an email to the students regarding the same. In his email, he expressed his sincere apologies for the previous email. He stated that the authorities had worded the email incorrectly.

Updated Delhi University Fest Dates for 2024

Furthermore, he stated that no one had copied him on that email. This was an unusual practice. Normally, when he instructs any information to be communicated on his behalf in written mode, he is copied to the same. Henceforth, St. Stephens retracts suspension order.

Morning Assembly and its Significance

The morning assembly is an old practice of the institute. Small excerpts from religious and philosophical texts are read out in the assembly. It can, however, not be termed a religious event. These assemblies are a gateway to understanding the traditions, history, and practices that represent the college. They make the college a renowned institute. The first-year students are specifically expected to be present at the assemblies. The junior members are motivated to attend the assemblies. The performance of their wards will continue to be communicated to the parents.

Suspension Email Issued

On February 4th, the college authorities issued an email expressing their concern over the absenteeism. The college administration instructed the concerned students to schedule an appointment with the principal to discuss the matter. It was requested that the meeting take place in the presence of the students’ parents. However, this was impossible on part of outstation students.


On February 17th, the college administration dispatched another email. They mentioned the suspension of students in the same. The college administration took this extreme measure as a penalty for the students’ failure to schedule appointments with the principal. As a follow-up measure, the college administration will prohibit the students from taking the upcoming examinations.

Students Uproar following Suspension Issued

The students expressed their concerns in the email. They drafted a collective reply to the principal’s email. In the email, they stated that setting up an appointment was not feasible as most of their parents did not live in Delhi, NCR. An associate professor joined the claims of the students. He said that making assembly attendance compulsory would be inappropriate. It will be against the fundamental rights of the students. The assembly involves religious prayers and readings from religious scriptures. He alleged that this would be violative of the rights of the student community.



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