(Don Bosco Higher Education India) – The Annual Conference and General Body Meeting of the Don Bosco Higher Education India (DBHEI) was held at NBCLC (National Biblical Catechetical Liturgical Centre) Bangalore from November 10-12. The conference provided a valuable platform for Salesians from across India to share best practices in higher education and reflect on their mission to provide quality education to young people. The conference served as a catalyst for a renewed commitment to uphold the values that define DBHEI institutions and to continue fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship, social responsibility, and holistic formation among their students.
The conference, in the Salesian Province of Bangalore, was attended by 59 Salesians, with President Father Januarius S. Sangma, the Provincial of Guwahati Province, and the Vice-President Father Dr P.D. Johny. The participants included Directors, Managers, Principals, and Vice-principals from DBHEI institutions across India.
The three-day conference commenced with a Mass presided over by Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore Archdiocese. In his homily, Archbishop Machado acknowledged the significant contributions of the Salesians in the field of higher education and urged them to continue emulating the example of the Good Samaritan by going the extra mile for the poor and marginalized.
At the inaugural session, Father Sangma, the president of DBHEI, delivered the inaugural address emphasizing the need to uphold the values that underpin DBHEI institutions. He also highlighted the importance of fostering entrepreneurship and start-up culture on DBHEI campuses. Father Shalbin Kalanchery, the Vice Provincial of Bangalore Province, formally welcomed the delegates to the Salesian Province of Bangalore. Father Dr Johnson Ponthempilly, the DBHEI National Conference Organizing Secretary, delivered the initiation address. The video messages from Father Dr Biju Michael, the Regional of South Asia and Father Dr Oscar Lozano, IUS Director, were presented.
Mr. Thejus Joseph, Interim CEO of FiiRE, Goa, conducted a session on “Fostering Entrepreneurship and Start-up Culture on Campuses”. He encouraged DBHEI institutions to identify and nurture talented students with entrepreneurial potential.
Father Dr Jose Koyikal, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Bangalore, presided over the Mass on the second day. He emphasized the importance of holistic formation of young people and the need to entrust them to the care of Our Blessed Mother.
The delegates had a guided campus tour of Christ Deemed to be University, Bangalore. The interactive sessions with Pro-Vice-Chancellor Father Dr Viju Pynadath and the Deans of different academic streams in the University broadened the vision of the higher education ministry to respond proactively to the ongoing challenges in higher education. Everyone was personally convinced and inspired by the loyalty and attachment of the lay staff in Christ University to work towards a paradigm shift in the existing systems for creating the required ambience to own up institutional development and to make the institution their second home. The visits to the state-of-the-art auditorium and the Centre for Social Action (CSA) of the University also provided some novel ideas for revamping institutions with a vision.
The Registrar of Christ University, Dr Anil Joseph Pinto, in a session focused on “Educating Our Young to Social Responsibility”, stressed the importance of instilling a sense of social responsibility in students.
The third day began with a Mass presided over by Father Januarius S. Sangma. He emphasized the profound significance of Don Bosco’s pedagogical journey of love and education.
The General Body Meeting of DBHEI discussed the New Education Policy, a roadmap for short-term and long-term action for DBHEI, and the development of action plans to foster entrepreneurship and social responsibility within DBHEI institutions.
Father Dr Joaquim Lobo presented the minutes of the previous AGM, Father Dr K.O. Sebastian presented the financial report, and Father Dr Johnson Ponthempilly, the general coordinator, presented a report on the Annual Conference. Father Dr Joby Joseph, the national secretary, proposed the vote of thanks.
Source: Don Bosco India