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Don Bosco Higher Education network meet held

By Michael Makri
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Shillong, Dec. 1. Shillong:  The Annual  Conference and General Body Meeting of Don Bosco higher Educatin in India (DBHEI) on the theme ''Nation's Progress in the Constitutional Way'' was inaugurated on 30th November 2018 at Don Bosco Institute for Development and Leadership (DBIDP), Dimapur - Nagaland. The Don Bosco Network of Higher Education has nearly 50 institutions of Excellence imparting education to the marginalized young.
The programme was inaugurated by Dr Marcelo Farfan SDB, Salesian University Worldwide General Coordinator, Rome. Present for the inauguration was Dr Jose Kuruvachira, Provincial, Salesian Province of Dimapur, Dr Maria Charles, Vice President, DBHEI and other dignitaries.

In his speech, the Chief Guest Dr Marcelo Farfan spoke of networking among institutions of Higher Education. ''We cannot work in isolation or be satisfied only with my college or centre of higher studies. We need to collaborate and work together with other institutions of the world so as to have far reaching goals and able to serve better the students of our centres,'' he said. He added that the problem of higher education in any part of the globe is the same. Don Bosco Higher Education can play important role in helping students to become nation builders and transformers of society. He also added that Don Bosco's dream was to touch every aspect of human person to become person of integrity.

Dr Jose Kuruvachira, Provincial of Dimapur welcomed the delegates to the Northeast and in particular to the Province of Dimapur. He wished that the conference deliberate upon important points to bring about changes in society. He added that the theme of the conference is apt as we see that the constitution of the country is in a brink of being controlled by the government for its own gain and petty ideology. ''We need to safeguard our freedom and integrity. Colleges and centres of higher learning should strongly imbibe in the students' mind the love and knowledge of the constitution,'' he said.

Dr Maria Soosai, Secretary DBHEI in his introductory note spoke about The Preamble to the Constitution declares the State to be 'Secular' and this is a special relevance for the Religious Minorities.  Article 30 of the Indian Constitution states that, ''(1) All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. This needs to be safeguarded.

On the same note Dr Maria Charles, Vice President DBHEI presented the need to come together to discuss certain issues affecting higher education in India. He highlighted the needs of the 21st Century in higher education.

Soon after the inauguration, papers were presented on the theme of the conference. Ms G A Bidyalaxmi Devi, Asst. Professor Don Bosco College Maram, Manipur presented the ''Historical steps involved in the writing of the Indian Constitution.'' Dr Salikyu Sangtam, Asst. Professor Political Psychology, St. Joseph University, Dimapur presented a paper on ''The Structure of the Indian Constitution.'' Other papers presented during the conference were ''Nation Building with Young People'' by Dr Maria Charles, Vice President DBHEI and Secretary DBYA-SA. ''The Role of Youth in Nation Building - A National Youth Policy Perspective'' by Dr Casimir Motcham. Mr Jojo Mathew, Chief Executive - ALS Delhi presented a paper on ''Minority Rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution.''

In the evening the Annual General Body Meeting was overseen by Father K M Jose, President, DBHEI. During the meeting the point that was discussed was on networking and collaborations among Don Bosco colleges in India.

The conference decided to conduct animation programme for the staff and students of the various Don Bosco Colleges on the importance of the Constitution and its safeguard.
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