The conference included participants from: Assam Don Bosco University, Guwahati; Christ University, Bangalore; St Xavier University, Bhubaneswar; St Xavier University, Calcutta; and St Joseph University, Kohima.
"We have focused on today's educational scene and on the growing, subtle attempts of 'saffronization' (from the saffron color of the Hindu extremist groups, Ed.) of schools in India," said Salesian Fr George Thadathil, one of the participants.
Speaking of the mission of Christian education in India, Dr Valson Thampu, former Rector of St. Stephen's College, in Delhi, said, "Christian educational institutes exist to make a difference in society. Two universities, Don Bosco and Christ University, have existed for over nine years. Three more have opened in the last two years."
The meeting of Catholic universities served to share their experiences of higher education within the context of the current phase of India's cultural and social transitions. "The Catholic Church in India is universally recognized for its educational institutions and its vocational training which, when devoted to the service of education, have acted according to criteria of quality and excellence, contributing to the construction of the nation," observed Fr C.M. Paul, a professor at Assam Don Bosco University, and organizer of the event.
"I graduated from the Assam Don Bosco University in Guwahati, founded in 2008 as the first Catholic university in India, and it was an invaluable educational path. We have organized the meeting of Catholic universities so we may continuously improve our educational services according to values common to the Indian nation, and make our contribution to the common good," he concluded.
Students enrolled in all five Catholic universities total:16,000; of the 42,000 secondary schools in the country, 500 are Catholic, circa 1%.
Over the last decade, the Indian university system has seen significant growth, mostly unplanned and without adequate levels of control. In this framework, Catholic universities are a guarantee of quality.
Source: Agenzia Fides