SXUK : Vice-chancellor's Message

 

Message from Vice-Chancellor

Rev. Dr. J. Felix Raj, S.J.
15 May 2021

The tiny Corona Virus and its mutated strains, invisible to the naked eye, has wreaked havoc in the entire world. Billions of people have been infected and millions have lost their lives as a result of the tragedy created by the virus. The financial and economic repercussions are also tremendous. Millions of people, especially in Asia, Africa and South America have lost their livelihoods.

In the midst of this is the untiring and unceasing work being done by the frontline Corona Warriors - Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics, Ambulance Drivers, Pharmacists, Police and Civil Administration. Many of them have also succumbed due to the virus.

Our Response to COVID 19:

In such trying times, how could a Jesuit institution sit idle when its mission is to serve God through service to humanity. Thus, St. Xavier's University, Kolkata has dedicated itself to tackle the Corona situation in its unique way. The University fraternity came up wholeheartedly to contribute to the fight by accepting reduced salaries, providing food and medicines to the needy and affected people, distributing blankets and masks, and opening up the gates of the University to provide an Isolation-cum-post-Hospitalisation Centre for COVID patients in the neighbourhood.

St. Xavier's University has always reached out to people in their hours of distress. At a time like this, those in our neighbourhood need a healthcare facility the most. The facility, set up in collaboration with New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) and the district administration, became operational from May 12. It has 40 beds, oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders, nebulizers, doctors and allied support.

The Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) is supporting with doctors and medical facilities. The Chairman of the NKDA, Debashis Sen, and the DM of North 24 Parganas are providing all support. The ground floor of the Arrupe Building - named after Fr. Pedro Arrupe - which is 3,000 sq. ft. in area, has been converted into the medical ward for Covid patients. Our Alumni Association is actively helping us in this endeavour.

Feathers in our cap

The pandemic could not dull our spirits and halt our progress towards the attainment of excellence. In spite of all these activities aimed at tackling the Corona menace, we have successfully conducted our classes online, completed our admission processes for PG courses and ensured a fool-proof examination system that has not compromised on the qualitative output of our students.

Thus, overcoming the challenges presented by the pandemic, we were successful in conducting the MBA Final Semester Examinations of 2020-2021 and publish their results. We have also conducted the Final Semester Examination 2020-2021 for all UG and PG students. Even the Practical Examinations for all streams have been planned across May and June and shall be conducted completely online.

Ignatian Year

2021 marks the 500th year of St. Ignatius' 'cannonball moment' - a moment of inner transformation from being a soldier of an earthly King to a soldier of Christ. Out of these events was born the Jesuit Order or the Society of Jesus, which has for five centuries dedicated itself to provide quality education to millions of people across the globe irrespective of religion, region, race, caste, colour, gender, physical conditions and all other such debilitating factors.

As per Jesuit General Arturo Sosa, 'The whole year will be guided by the Universal Apostolic Preferences which, as you know, were announced in 2019 and continue until 2029. We know that assimilating them means conversion for each one of us, for our communities, our institutions and our apostolic works. We ask for the grace of a real change in our day to day life-mission'.

After a 16-month discernment process, the Society of Jesus has announced four Universal Apostolic Preferences for the next 10 years. These are a call to conversion - an invitation to rethink how we live, work and relate to the people we serve. They invite all Jesuits and their collaborators in mission to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and inspire them to act.

Keeping this in mind, the University has planned to observe the Ignatian Year from May 20, 2021 to July 31, 2022, which is the Feast Day of Ignatius of Loyola. Numerous programmes have been chalked out to spread the message and charism of Ignatius and the Jesuits. However, keeping in mind the pandemic situation, all such programmes will be conducted virtually.

May God bless all of us. Nihil Ultra.


Fr. Dr. J. Felix Raj, SJ
Vice- Chancellor
15 May 2021
www.felixrajsj.com


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