New Delhi: St Stephens College principal Valson Thampu has banned a student-run website for not seeking his clearance on the content before publishing and has appointed a one-man disciplinary committee to look into the matter.
The weekly e-zine, which was started by a group of four philosophy students from the college went live on March 7 and registered over 2000 hits on an interview of Thampu, following which he ordered suspension of the publication for not taking his clearance for the issue.
"We had not sought any permission from the administration before starting the weekly but we did inform the principal that we are launching such an e-zine but no objections were raised then. He even agreed for an interview and 'self-appointed' himself as the Staff Advisor for the weekly," Devansh Mehta, editor and founding member of the web magazine said.
"As instructed by him, we had sent him a transcript of the interview before publishing but after we did not hear from him, we went ahead with the interview inviting the action from college principal," he said.
The students received an email from Thampu saying, "While it is proper for you to apologise, it is unacceptable that, despite being explicitly told not to publish anything (especially my interview) before I had the time to go through and clear the text) you went ahead in defiance. This is a gross failure."
"It denotes an awkward failure of education and that is why I cannot take it lightly. It should not have happened especially after I assured you of all the support and took upon myself the task of serving as the Staff Advisor...The publication shall remain suspended and situation will be remained in July 2015," he added in the email.
Even as Thampu remained unavailable for his comment, S R Ayde, a senior professor, confirmed that he has been appointed as one-member disciplinary committee.
"It is a serious case of breach of discipline of the college by the students and rather than taking any action himself, the principal has appointed me to look into the matter in order to be fair to the students.
"The students cannot title it as 'St stephens weekly' without the intervention of the administration in it. I will submit my recommendations soon to the principal," he said.