HRD Minister Kapil Sibal today requested St Stephens College Principal Walson Thampu to use his discretionary powers to ensure that junior cricketer Unmukt Chand, the captain of the U-19 World Cup winning team, does not lose an academic year due to low attendance.

Sibal spoke to Thampu yesterday after India captain M. S. Dhoni and Sports Minister Ajay Maken rallied behind Chand.

Talking to presspersons, Sibal said, “I have requested Walson Thampu if he could use his discretionary powers to ensure that Unmukt could sit for his university exams.

“He said he was bound by university rules and then I requested the Vice-Chancellor if he could use his emergency powers. He agreed to it and said he would be positively inclined,” the Minister said.

Asked if there should be a policy for such cases, Sibal said there should be a provision under university regulations where such emergency powers can be used in special cases in the national interest.

Delhi University rules mandate a student to have at least 33.3 per cent attendance in an academic session after all exemptions, but 19-year-old Unmukt, a first year BA student of St Stephen’s College, could not attend the required number of classes owing to his cricketing engagements.