Tag Archives: Salesian College Sonada

Grade A for Salesian College

Sonada institution first under NBU to get NAAC top rank

SILIGURI (WB), March 27 (MRINALINI SHARMA) –Salesian College has been conferred Grade A by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, the first among the 63 colleges under North Bengal University (NBU) to get the top grade.

The NAAC accreditation this time was based on an inspection conducted at the 74-year-old college at Sonada and at its second campus in Siliguri in November.

College authorities said it was a “great leap” for the college which had been granted C++ during the previous NAAC grading system in 2004.

Dr. George Thadathil, SDB

“It is a matter of great prestige for stakeholders of the college both in Sonada and in the Siliguri campus. In fact, it is a great leap from the C++ grade, conferred on us during the first accreditation eight years back. The top grade proves that we strove hard to attain this position,” said Father George Thadathil, the principal of Salesian College.

“A three-member team had inspected the college in Sonada and the Siliguri campus for three days in November last year. NAAC took its decision on March 10 this year and intimated us a few days back,” he added.

This is the second feat for the college — run by the Salesians of Don Bosco. The first was when it was accorded “college with potential for excellence” status by the UGC along with ABN Seal College in Cooch Behar in 2010. Both the colleges had got an additional grant of Rs 1 crore each from the UGC for the recognition.

NAAC is a Bangalore-based autonomous body set up by the UGC in 1994 to assess and accredit higher education institutions across India. Under the current system, institutions are graded under A, B, C and D categories, which means “very good”, “good”, “satisfactory” and “unsatisfactory”.

The grades are valid for five years after which colleges and varsities have to opt for re-accreditation.

The higher education institutes are adjudged on parameters like curriculum, teaching, learning and evaluation, research, consultancy and extension, infrastructure and learning resources.

Nupur Das, the UG Council secretary of NBU, said the best score among 30 NAAC accredited colleges under NBU so far was B++. “Sonada college is located in a rural area, yet, it is so well-equipped with highly qualified teachers that it could impress the NAAC inspection team. Currently, eight of the 33 teachers serving on the two campuses have PhD and more are applying for research,” she said. Both the campuses of the college have 50 computers and 20 laptops with Internet connectivity. The college is known for its modern teaching mechanism like LCDs, projectors and smart boards and has a well-stocked library with over 32,000 books and journals.

“In fact, the college has the highest student-book ratio. The college has national and international collaborations with around 10 research organisations including the ICPR (Indian Council of Philosophical Research), ICSSR (Indian Council of Social Science Research) and the CIIL (Central Institute of Indian Languages). The college also participates in student exchange programmes with institutions under Don Bosco Higher Education Forum across the world,” said Das.

“So far, the best grade earned by colleges under the university is B++. Even the university was accorded B++.  Salesian College is among the first few colleges under NBU to go for re-accreditation and it earned the top grade. As of now, this is the only college under our university to have A grade,” she added.

The college offers courses in BA, BSc, BCom and management, apart from career oriented programmes in music, communicative English, computer science and travel and tourism.

Around 400 students are enrolled on the campuses in Sonada and Siliguri.

According to varsity sources, UGC has “strongly recommended” that all colleges and varsities get accredited by the NAAC. “A college with Grade A earns credibility of the UGC and is certainly eligible for enhanced and special grants for further improvement in infrastructure and quality of education,” an NBU source said.

“With grade A, a college is recognised among the best institutions of the country. This also helps in drawing national and international research agencies to collaborate with it,” the official added.
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1120328/jsp/siliguri/story_15303617.jsp#.T3VQ5GHxq68

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Unforgettable CK

 

Fr. C. K. George, SDB

ROME, (C.M. Paul) unedited version – I woke up Monday morning to the very shocking news of the death of a dear friend Fr C.K. George (Chiriankandath) with whom I had a good chat on Saturday, feast of St Joseph, Rome time 10.30 am… should be about 3 pm IST. We chatted and laughed for almost five minutes… He described about the new equipment inserted in the body to help regulate the heart… He joked about it forming a lump on the side and having a funny feeling, especially while trying to sleep.
He also told me that he had cut down on teaching and goes to school just to sign the register. I told him that he sounded very perky and positive.
But, he died next day, Sunday evening, age 58. May he rest in peace.
I know CK from class VIII in Bandel. He was just a year junior in school, college and everywhere… from 1967.
Everything about CK could be said as down to earth, human. He never believed in putting a show of piety nor religiosity. He also enjoyed the company of friends, for a film show (forbidden those days), or even a beer without any qualms.
At school and college he used to be the centre of the group. A veritable stand up comedian, there would be no programme without an item from CK, a mimicry, monoact, song or a skit. He loved playing the clown to the utter chagrin of the prefect of studies who advised him “better you leave, and join a circus.”
CK stayed on and played (ace footballer of the school or college team) making others clowns.
His assignments were between Bengali medium schools. His proficiency in Bengali was enviable, and language, picturesque! While at Krishnagar he had a stint at body building exhibition at the youth centre, also he has acted in several major plays in Krishnagar Cathedral auditorium and also played double role in a Bengali telefilm.
Though seemed to be a very tough Head master, he was popular with students. Last year, he had a huge programme to revive the DB Alumni unit at St John’s Bandel. He had also organized a colourful first ever major Alumni event for Don Bosco’s feast this year at St John’s Bandel with many eminent past pupils of the school participating to launch a scholarship fund.
I never had the privilege of working with him. But, I always enjoyed his company at annual gatherings and common events. I shall cherish the memory of a friend who had a contagious enthusiasm for life and work with young people.

 

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Memories of Indian “Summer Priest” in Germany

Book Cover of “Summer Priest” with Prof Thuruthiyil’s photo in set.

LAMMERSPIEL IN MUHLHEIM AM MAIN, Germany (C.M. Paul) – It is rare that an Indian priest celebrates 25 years as summer priest in a German parish. Not only, he has also published a book to mark the occasion. Salesian priest Prof. Scaria Thuruthiyil former dean of the Philosophy Faculty at the Salesian University (UPS) Rome is currently in Lammerspiel in Muhlheim near Frankfurt. He celebrates the silver jubilee of his arrival in St. Lucia parish, Lämmerspiel, Saturday 17 July, with a solemn Eucharist at 6 P.M., followed by reception open to all the parishioners of both St. Lucia and St. Sebastian (Dietesheim) parishes.
“I have been coming to this parish each year since 1985 at least for one month,” says 63 year-old Prof Thuruthyil who heads a massive fan club in the region.
“My book in German will be released during a reception held in my honour to celebrate 25 years as “summer priest” (sommerpfarrer),” says Prof Thuruthyil who was recently appointed rector of the professors community, St Dominic Savio at the UPS Rome.
“When I come here [in Germany], I substitute the parish priest who goes for his holidays. Since last 15 years this parish has been amalgamated with neighbouring parish (St.Sebastian, Dietesheim) and I look after both the parishes,” says Prof Thuruthyil who has been honoured in 2006 with “Ehrenplakette in Bronze der Stadt Muhlheim” by the Mayor Bernd Muller of Muhlheim which has over 28,000 inhabitants.
“I thought of writing a small book of memories (entitled Sommerpfarrer) for this memorable occasion,” says Prof Thuruthyil.
Author of 14 Books
Giving details of the book, he says “it contains 47 anecdotes with a sketch drawing for each anecdote, besides a forward and a dedication.”
Incidentally, the cartoonist is the parish priest of the neighbouring parish of Sts. Markus and Maxmillian Kolbe. An excellent cartoonist, Fr. Dekan Schmitt-Helferich, has done the sketches in homage to Prof. Thuruthyil.
The 100-page book contains remembrances of persons and interesting events, both joyful and laughable experiences of these past 25 years.
“It is meant as my personal gift to the parishioners who have been very friendly to me for all these past years: a celebration that could last for a while with some good laughs and cheery anecdotes,” says Prof Thuruthyil hoping his writing would also inspire hope and optimism.
There has been an overwhelming response to the venture and the first edition of 850 copies of the book is already running short and I am thinking of ordering a second edition to be at hand soon.
A couple of people who read the manuscripts are highly appreciative of the book and have already asked for the second volume of the book to be written.
Author of 14 books in English, Italian and Malayalam, Prof Thuruthiyil’s latest 358 page book in Italian is entitled “Principi e valori educativi, nella tradizione Indiana.” It is due for release in September 2010.
Born in Pala
Born in the diocese of Pala, Kerala in 1947, Fr Thuruthiyil studied in Bandel, Salesian College Sonada Darjeeling, UPS Rome and Jnanadeepa Vidyapeeth Pune.  In 1972 as professor of Philosophy at Salesian College, Yercaud, Tamilnadu, Prof Thuruthiyil founded the SSGY (Social Service Guild Yercaud) – an organization of Religious men and women formed to coordinate various initiatives for the poor. The SSGY continues to be a well-run organization to date.
He was ordained priest in Pala (1977) and was appointed Administrator and vice Rector at Don Bosco Tech New Delhi and became professor of Philosophy at Salesian College Sonada (1981-1984). After completing doctorate in Philospohy from UPS Rome, Fr Thuruthiyil returned Kolkata where he worked as assistant parish priest at Kalyani and professor of Philosophy at the Morning Star College regional seminary Calcutta where seminarians from 28 dioceses studied.
From 1988 Prof Thuruthiyil has been at the UPS Rome as well invited professor at the Università di Roma, La Sapienza, Dept. of Ethnic Religions (2003 onwards). From 2004 he also lectures at BEDA Pontifical College (Philosophical Anthropology and History of Modern and Contemporary Philosophy) Rome.
Contact email id for greetings: scaria.thuruthiyil@gmail.com

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Fr Thuruthiyil Made Rector of Professors’ Community at UPS Rome

Prof Scaria Thuruthiyil SDB

ROME – The Superior of the Universita’ Pontificia Salesiana (UPS) Vice-province communicated, 21 June, Prof Scaria Thuruthiyil as Rector of  UPS Dominic Savio professor’s community. He succeeds eminent professor Fr Morand Wirth during whose tenure Fr Thuruthiyil was the Catechist.
The official announcement reads: “The Rector Major with his Council has approved the nomination of  Fr. Thuruthiyil Scaria, as new Rector of the community of S. Dominic Savio” for a triennium 2010-1013. To him goes our congratulations and wishes for the service of guide and animator of the community and of the confreres”.
One of the features Fr Thuruthiyil, formerly of Kolkata province, introduced as catechist in his community was the weekly Saturday afternoon outings for the elderly confreres who were confined to the infirmary and could venture out, if provided the occasion.
Former dean of UPS Philosophy Faculty Fr Sacria is also an accomplished author of 13 books in English, Italian and Malayalam.
A new book on Indian educative principles and values in Italian language by an Indian professor at the Salesian University (UPS) Rome is ready for release shortly. This is the second book launched on Indian topic in Italian language by Prof Thuruthiyil.The 358 page book entitled “Principi e valori educativi, nella tradizione Indiana” is being published under the Edizioni Progetto Cultura Collana Quaderna di Ricerca.
Born in the diocese of Pala, Kerala in 1947, Fr Thuruthiyil studied in Bandel, Salesian College Sonada Darjeeling, UPS Rome and Jnanadeepa Vidyapeeth Pune.  In 1972 as professor of Philosophy at Salesian College, Yercaud, Tamilnadu, Prof Thuruthiyil founded the SSGY (Social Service Guild Yercaud) – an organization of Religious men and women of Yercaud formed to coordinate various initiatives for the poor of the region. The SSGY continues to be a well-run organization to date.
He was ordained priest in Pala (1977) and was appointed Administrator and vice Rector at Don Bosco Tech Delhi and became professor of Philosophy at Salesian College Sonada (1981-1984). After completing doctorate in Philospohy from UPS Rome, Fr Thuruthiyil returned Kolkata where he worked as assistant parish priest at Kalyani and professor of Philosophy at the Morning Star College regional seminary Calcutta where seminarians from 28 dioceses studied.
From 1988 Prof Thuruthiyil has been at the UPS Rome as well invited professor at the Università di Roma, La Sapienza, Dept. of Ethnic Religions (2003 onwards). From 2004 he also lectures at BEDA Pontifical College (Philosophical Anthropology and History of Modern and Contemporary Philosophy) Rome.
Among over 40 Salesians from India in the UPS-Rome Vice-Province are the Superior (Fr Joaquim D`Souza, INB) and Rector of Don Rua community (Fr Jose Chunkapura, INC). There are also 12 Professors and over 30 Salesian students spread out among eight communities in the vice-province.

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Rāmānuja’s Thought Spells End of Caste System

Fr Francis Vattukulam, SDB

ROME – An Indian doctoral student presenting Rāmānuja’s philosophy at the Salesian University Rome (UPS), 15 June, has argued the end of caste system on grounds of equality and unique status of human beings. Rāmānuja was 11th century philosopher from Tamil Nadu. Though born a Brahmin, he taught both upper and lower caste people the way to God through bhakti mārga, realized more specifically through the path of self-surrender (prapatti). The president of the five member defence panel, UPS Pro-Vice-chancellor and Philosophy Faculty Dean Prof. Mauro Montovani declared panel’s verdict granting him “the highest marks” awarded to a doctoral candidate.
“Caste system,” says Fr Francis Vattukulam, “embodies a fundamental denial of equality and fraternity since it creates classes based on birth and profession. The division is based on the higher and the lower, the pure and the impure, and the sacred and the profane. There is no role for fundamental rights in a caste-ridden society, let alone a discussion about rights.”

Being Awarded "the highest marks"

Salesian Father Vattukulam of Bangalore province states “from a philosophical foundation the dignity of man definitely lies in being created in the image of God. This aspect of being created by God, in His likeness and as His mode (prakāra) wins for him/her an absolute value and dignity vis-à-vis God’s existence and dignity.
Fr Vattukulam 39, who did his research under the guidance of former Dean of the UPS Philosophy Faculty Prof Scaria Thuruthyil SDB insists, “the point of relevance for us here is that, the nature of every individual self (jīva), applies not only for the Brāhmaņa, Kșatriya and Vaiśya, but also to those condemned to remain in the fourth caste and those termed as Casteless and Untouchables, for they are also governed by the same principle and have the same characteristics. Therefore we cannot predicate of a differentiating characteristic between one person and the other on the basis of their birth or the occupation that one follows. Everyone shares in the same level of dignity that God has bestowed on the human being. This is what comes to be affirmed by Rāmānuja.”
“Vattukulam followed basically a descriptive-analytical method in articulating Ramanuja’s understanding of man, as well as in delineating the origin and import of caste system, giving at the same time due attention to present the same from a philosophical prospective,” says Prof. Thuruthyil commenting on candidate’s research methodology.
Fr Vattukulam was fortunate to have as his second guide the Dean of the Faculty of Missiology at the Gregorian, Fr Christopher Shelke SJ, a social activist who made a name with his work among under privileged people in Maharashtra.

Fr. Francis with members of the defense panel.

The third reader, Prof Maurizio Marin SDB is professor of ancient philosophy at UPS Philosophy Faculty.
In addition, Fr Vattukulam’s vast experience of studying philosophy and theology as well as teaching philosophy in various academic institutions in Kerala, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka exposed him to the plight of the oppressed classes.
He will shortly take charge as Principal and Dean of studies at Don Bosco College, Keezhmad, Aluva in Kerala.
Photos by Fr Varghese Kaplikunnel SDB

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Indian Priest Defends US Youth Ministry Model

Fr Manuel Kadankavil of Kalyan diocese.

ROME — Fr. Emmanuel Kadankavil of Kalyan-Mumbai diocese has successfully defended his doctoral thesis on a U.S. model of youth ministry in catechetics, 7 June, at the Salesian University Rome.
“Realizing the urgency of intervention in the field of youth ministry and the need for providing a stronger foundation and vision to today’s youth ministry, I did a research on the relevance and importance of the model of youth ministry propounded by Maria Harris, an renowned American author and faith educator,” says Fr. Kadankavil.
The topic of his three years of research and study was:Maria Harris’ Model of Youth Ministry: Integrating the Psychological and Spiritual Dimensions –  An Analytical Critical Study
He says that his youth ministry experience both with the Salesians in Kolkata province and in the diocese of Kalyan-Mumbai, aw well as two years as chaplain at the University of Tor Vergata, Rome, motivated him to pursue his doctoral research on the theme.
He develops the topic by dwelling upon the five-fold dimensions of the model, viz., Didache, Leiturgia, Koinonia, Kerygma and Diakonia, giving emphasis to the psychological and spiritual dimensions of it.
Prof . Cyril De Souza SDB guided the study. The other professors on the examination panel were Prof. Jerome Vallabaraj SDB and Prof. Medeiros Damasio SDB.
“The uniqueness of the American author and teacher Maria Harris’ model consists in the fact that she has propounded a theory-based model of youth ministry which is holistic and integral,” opines Fr Kadankavil.
He adds, “my research is unique in as much as it is the first of its kind.”
Following an analytical and critical methodology he has highlighted the need for reformulation and adaptation of the youth ministry model to each situation and context. The basic approach to the research was one of theological and anthropological.
Born on 18th November 1966 in Thudanganad, Kerala, Fr. Kadankavil did his initial seminary formation with the Salesians of Don Bosco. As regent he taught literature and music in Salesian College Sonada, Darjeeling. In 1988 he joined the diocese of Kalyan and served as pastor, teacher and administrator in the diocese. He also holds a BA Hons. degree in Arts and Literature from North Bengal University, and a Diploma in Counselling and Spirituality from the Dharmaram University Bangalore.

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