Chief Minister of Nagaland, TR Zeliang officially inaugurating the St. Joseph University on November 18.
Dimapur, November 18 (MExN): Chief Minister of Nagaland TR Zeliang today admitted that quality higher education in the State is available inadequately. “This is evident from the fact that every year, thousands of Naga youth are going outside the state in pursuit of higher and technical education, while there is practically no reverse inflow of students to Nagaland from other states,” he stated at the official inauguration of St. Joseph University on November 18 at Ikishe village, Dimapur.
Zeliang said this leads to huge drain on the State’s economy and negative impact on the sense of national integration, including some unfortunate ethnic and racial issues faced by the North East people in some metro cities.
“Such situation can be reversed when we have good institutions of learning in our own state, and students from mainland India also come to the North East for education and other educational and social events.” The CM was optimistic that St. Joseph University will make significant contribution towards bringing about that kind of change.
Till date, the University has drawn an amount of Rs. 43 Cr from the Union Bank of India and South Indian Bank for the university project, informed Founder of Daughters of Mary Immaculate (DMI) and Missionaries of Mary Immaculate (MMI) and Chancellor of the University Rev. Fr. Dr. J.E. Arul Raj.
“The University has not paid any bribe to any individual for the project and we assure you that in five-ten years the University will be the finest in India and definitely in North East region,” he stated.
Terming the official inauguration of St. Joseph University a ‘Red Letter Day’ for the people of Nagaland, Home Minister Y. Patton said the Catholic Church in Nagaland under the Diocese of Kohima has been at the forefront to impart quality education at the lowest cost to the people of Nagaland touching the farthest and remotest part of the state.
“We are well aware that the college education system in the North East region and much of India in general suffers from a glaring defect since a very large proportion of college graduates in India are not employable because of the type of courses being offered in most colleges and universities,” Patton said.
Though the North East region produces a large number of college graduates every year, he stated, employable graduates form only a small portion. As a result, educated unemployed youth of the region become vulnerable to various unwanted elements or organizations which want to exploit, the Minister claimed.
“I believe the new university will have a deliberate emphasis on employment oriented courses to offset this lacuna of higher education system in this region and will also try to introduce courses relevant and suited to the economic condition of the state so that the natural and human resources will be optimized,” Patton added.
Advisor for Higher Education Deo Nukhu suggested that every private college in the State be affiliated with St. Joseph University. Asking the University to aim for NAAC accreditation, he expressed optimism that it will overtake other Central universities.
Meanwhile, Bishop of Kohima and Pro Chancellor of the University, Rev. Dr. James Thoppil said the University is the realization of a dream of the Catholic Church to provide higher education to the young people of the State, especially those who cannot afford higher education.
“The University I believe will provide the much long felt need not only in education but value based education even in the midst where this region is considered as the most corrupted by the other states,” the Bishop maintained.
Parliamentary Secretary C. Apok Jamir and School Education Principal Secretary Francis P. Solo also graced the inauguration event.
The University, which started with 43 students initially for both UG and PG, has till date enrolled 544 students out of the 1500 applications received, it was informed.