Benefits to Minorities in Poverty Alleviation Programme with Particular Reference to Christian Communities

Benefits to Minorities in Poverty Alleviation Programme with Particular Reference to Christian Communities.
(Presented on 13/01/2014 at Annual Conference of State Minorities Commissions – 2014 at DRDO Conference Hall, New Delhi.)
Dr. Fr. Davis George
1. Christian Contribution in Nation Building
Christian community through their quality service, selflessly rendered in the fields of education, health and social upliftment has played a pivotal role in building the Nation.  The unique contribution made by Christians all over the country need to be acknowledged and highlighted and their expertise utilized by the Government.  Going beyond the barriers of caste, creed and nationality Christians have extended their service to those in the cities as well as in remote villages.  It is a perception in general among the Indian people that there is a greater amount of dedication and commitment among Christians, especially among their religious personnel. Could their involvement in public sector improve the sense of commitment among the other coworkers? Will this reduce corruption? Basic amenities and necessities have been provided by the Christian Churches all over the country believing in Jesus who came to serve and not to be served.  “I have come that you may have life and life in abundance.” (Jn 10:10)

2.  Review of some of the Prime Minister's new 15 point programme for the welfare of minorities in terms of specific interventions made for the upliftment of Christians.
1. Improving access to School Education: Even now it is difficult to get permission to start schools.
2. Scholarships for meritorious students from minority communities:  Yet to be availed by Christian students in most States.  As such many of the deserving Christian students do not get the benefits at par with SC /ST Students.
3. Improving educational Infrastructure through the Maulana Azad Education Foundation:   The general impression is that Moulana Azad Education Foundation is meant only for Muslims and so many don’t apply for any help other than Muslims.  There should be wide publicity given to the facilities promised in Maulana Azad Education Foundation.  Many Christian institutions are struggling to carry on with the work due to financial constraints and they should be assisted by the Maulana Azad Education Foundation. Many are taking huge bank loans and they are not able to pay back the same.  Government could give financial assistance to Christian professional colleges in terms of infrastructural developments.  It is a matter of great pride that Christian educational institutions are doing what the Government should be doing for the upliftment of the minority community which runs quality institutions not only for the students belonging to their community but also for all those who belong to other communities.   St. Aloysius Institute of Technology in Jabalpur is a Christian Engineering College catering to the professional empowerment of the Community and is in need of financial assistance for infrastructural developments.
4. Self-Employment and Wage-Employment for the poor
The Swarnjayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojna (SGSY), the primary self-employment programme for rural areas, need to be popularized and deserving Christian families to be identified and helped.
5. Upgradation of skill through technical training
A very large proportion of the population of minority communities is engaged in low-level technical work or earns its living as handicraftsman. Provision of technical training to such people would upgrade their skills and earning capability. Christian Community has not yet been beneficiaries of the same in a tangible way.
6. Recruitment to State and Central Services. This should be done in a transparent way.
7. Prevention of Communal Incidents: Continues even in places like Karnataka, Khandamal.
8. Prosecution for communal offences and rehabilitation of victims of communal riots: Not satisfactory yet, in affected areas.

3. The impact of Poverty alleviation programmes in India: Review
What we need to ask today is how it has facilitated an equitable share for minority communities in education, employment, economic activates in particular Christian communities.  The objectives of the programme are: (a) Enhancing opportunities for education; (b) Ensuring an equitable share for minorities in economic activities and employment through existing and new schemes, enhanced credit support for self-employment and recruitment to State and Central Government jobs; (c) Improving the conditions of living of minorities by ensuring an appropriate share for them in infrastructure development schemes; and (d) Prevention and control of communal disharmony and violence. 
I strongly recommend the following:
1. Christian community should be encouraged and given sufficient financial assistance to establish Professional Colleges. Similarly Christians should be encouraged to establish their own deemed to be Universities as they have expertise and skills to provide quality education. This would enable institutions to be free from the clutches of affiliating Universities and offices which causes undue delay and harassment. 100% grand- in- aid to be given to teaching and non-teaching staff of such schools and colleges both by the State Government and by the UGC. 
2.  Christians have done tremendous work in the fields of education, health services and social work for all sections of the society. Government need to do much more for this community to attain sustainable development.  Proportionate recognition or awards or membership in national bodies are not given to members belonging to Christian communities. 
3.  Christian minorities should be encouraged to build schools like Novodaya with full financial assistance from the Government. Also to have their own educational boards like the State Educational Board and CBSE.  Christian educational institutions have proven record of running quality institutions with no commercial motives as many others do.
4.  Evaluation to be made on the Benefits to Minorities in Poverty Alleviation programmes and made public so that we know the ground reality.
5.  Framing financial policy for institute grant/subsidy for getting grand in aid from the State for schools and from UGC for the colleges.
6.  Preference for sanctioning intake in various courses at UG and PG level.
7.  Exemption from AICTE and University affiliation fees.
8.  Implementation of policy for minority institute in admission quota for all states.
9.  Special grant for minority students and minority institutions of hostel (Lodging and Boarding), project, training, library etc.
10.  Helpline / redressal cell for Christian minorities to be established with time bound action plan.

4. Conclusion: Miles and miles to go before I go to sleep…
What we need is effective implementation of the poverty alleviation programmes and time to time evaluation of the same.  Even today the process to get any benefit is cumbersome and hence Christian minority keep away from applying for the grant.  We need to evolve minority friendly, Christian friendly, user friendly approach to build an inclusive society which alone will ensure sustainable development.  Christian community in general has often been the soft target of communal violence and lack of timely assistance in getting things done.  Even now for land diversion, electricity connection; starting of new institutions and infrastructural assistance Christian community is fighting a lone battle.  Numerically Christians are a small community and often financially very weak.  Hence they find it difficult to maintain the existing institutions, leave alone to start new ones.  Commercialization of education for the last 20 years both higher education and school education has created a lot of hurdles for the Christian minority institutions which need to be addressed at the earliest, so that they can maintain their quality of education as they used to do it in earlier days. May I conclude with the words of Swami Vivekananda?
 “So long as millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every person a traitor who, having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them.” 

The Cross: Victory over hatred, despair and violence

It has been rightly said by Mazinni “A person may die, but the truth implanted by him can never die.”  History bears a testimony to the indisputable powers of non violence and truth.  There have been many people who have endured great suffering and pain and emerged victorious in life.  Lives of great people would bear testimony to the courage of conviction and willingness to pay the price for the same.  Such people live on in the minds and hearts of people.  Their example motivates and inspires others to take the road less traveled.  And yet stories of hatred, violence, despair and destruction loom large in the news headlines.  Confronted with problems, pain, unjust suffering and challenging situations, farmers, students, couples and others often take the short cut of ending their lives.  Suicide, murder, violence seem to take the upper hand.   Some people think that might is right and muscle power can settle scores.  Endurance and perseverance often take a back seat.

It is in this context we must reflect on the crucifixion and death of Christ on Good Friday.  A man who went around doing good, who made the lame walk, the lepers clean, the deaf hear and the dump speak was accused and condemned due to vested interests, by religious leaders of his time who could not face the light of truth as propounded by Jesus of Nazareth.  Those who believed in religious fundamentalism, who never practiced what they preached, who only practiced piety to get appreciation and approval those who ignored the cries of the poor, fabricated cases against the innocent Messiah and felt victories in his physical death.  This very act paved the way for eternal life; Jesus destroyed death by dying on the cross and confirmed eternal life for humanity by rising from the dead on the third day.

Christ’s death on the cross signified the victory of love over hatred and cruelty.  The Roman soldiers had spears and swords and their hatred towards him would culminate in his death on the cross. But their hatred and cruelty received only one response – forgiveness.  All through Jesus’s life there have been two great approaches to life, one against the other.  On the one side was hatred and on the other was love.  They beat him with a whip until his back was an open wound.  They drove nails through his hands and suspended him upon a cross.  All day long the battle raged.  Hate surrounded him on all sides.  But love upheld him.   When the battle was over, hate lay beaten in the dust.  Christ’s non-violence represents the impotence of hatred when confronted by the power of love.

The cross is also a symbol of faith’s victory over cynicism and despair.  Many of us, unfortunately, seldom recognize this hidden conflict.  We have given up searching for the meaning of life or contemplating over its apparent absurdities.  We are too busy with the mundane.  Fortunately, for the most part, life treats us reasonably well on the surface.  But this is not true of all people.   Many have more than their share of tragedy.  The pain and injustice that they see on every side cause them to lose all faith in God and in life.  If ever there was a person who had the right to doubt God, and to despair of the human race, and to become cynical about life, that person was Jesus.  But listen to him as he prays for his persecutors, “Father forgive them, they know not what they are doing.”  Listen to him as he tells a dying thief that they will be together in paradise.  Listen to him as he says, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”  Through all the injustice and pain, his faith in goodness and justice did not fail.  He kept on believing in God, he kept on believing in people, believing in life.  At Calvary, Faith won a resounding victory over cynicism and despair.

Finally, the Cross represents the victory of non-victory over force.  Jesus looked so weak on that cross that day.  He had no sword and no spear, and not even one soldier on his side.  All his kith and kin were onlookers from afar. The only thing he could do was to pray to seek forgiveness for his enemies and then die.  The world had never witnessed a more pitiful display of willful helplessness than that.  Though he could, he did not call a battalion of angels to come to his defense.  He simply died.  For some time it simply seemed that violence was the victor.  But two thousand years later, we commemorate not the military might, but a man who died on the cross.  That apparent defeat at Calvary has turned out to be the greatest victory of all time.     It has given Jesus an unparalleled place in history.  Without striking a blow, he has conquered more hearts and changed more minds and inspired more deeds than Caesar’s soldiers ever dreamed.

Mahatma Gandhi applied the power of non violence to political situation on a mass scale against the strongest colonial power and then established that non violence is the weapon of the strong and not the weak.  He often spoke of soul force and brute force.  Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye will make both blind.”   Though non violence and truth, Mahatmas Gandhi could bring political freedom tour country and at the same time he dreamed for a greater freedom of the spirit.”  The non violent suffering of our countrymen reminded us that the Cross really is a symbol of victory.  It is not strange that on Good Friday we celebrate faith rather than doubt.  Two thousand years have passed that only non-violence can combat and defeat brute force.  Do we dare to believe it?  But what is more important, do we dare to try it?
Dr. Fr. Davis George, Principal, St. Aloysius College (Autonomous), accredited A+ by NAAC,
College with Potential for Excellence, Jabalpur - 482001. Email:

“Pricilla, Aquilla and Paul” Paper presented and published at Asian Conference held in Manila, Philippines from 7th to the 12th November 2005

7th to 12th November, 2005, Manila, Philippines.

  1. Introduction


When we look at the early Church in the New Testament we find a variety of different communities, which are often centred in people’s homes. And perhaps what is most surprising there is no distinct clergy as such, certainly not a celibate clergy. In fact, as we comb the pages of the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of St Paul we come across two married couples who have a pivotal role to play in the evolution of the early church. Both couples are friends of Paul. In fact the first couple, ANDRONICUS & JUNIA, are described in Romans 16/7 as “my relatives, and quite prominent among the apostles”. We should understand the word ‘apostle’ here not as one of the twelve, but rather as one of those who had seen the Lord and had been commissioned by him to preach the Gospel and found new churches. Isn’t it quite extraordinary that we have an apostolic couple, a couple who were known and respected as excellent apostles.

The second couple is PRISCILLA (or PRISCA) & AQUILA, described by St Paul in Romans 16/3 as “my co-workers”. We know that Priscilla & Aquila had an extraordinary friendship with Paul, which lasted over 25 years. We also know that Paul was instrumental in their conversion and in their extraordinary generous commitment to the mission of the early church. I really ask myself if this threesome, these lifelong friends in the Lord’s vineyard, were not in fact the very first ecclesial team!

  1. Priscilla & Aquila’s  Conversion   

2.1 Agnes - Read Acts 18/1-3 
“After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.  There he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife, Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome.  Paul went to see them and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together – by trade they were tentmakers” This happened in 49AD

2.1   Alex. - 

Paul lived and worked from Priscilla and Aquila’s home and he had an incredible influence on them and their religious formation because the three of them set sail for Syria as a team –

Acts 18/18  “After staying there for a considerable time (perhaps 18 months) Paul said farewell to the believers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila” In that 18 months Aquila had become a Christian, and the couple had become so convinced of Christ’s message that they were willing to sell up and go on mission with Paul

2.1   Sharing H/W/P


I was fortunate to have this strong formation in my faith but it was not until our original Marriage Encounter Weekend that I realised just how blessed I was and how the weekend awakened a desire to make a more conscious effort to reach out and share that faith. My weekend turned me from a passive Catholic into a passionate Catholic. Here I was with this wonderful gift of Faith, this wonderful spouse to share my life and this dream of changing the world. I was like a crusader on a mission, I had a message and a gift that the rest of the world deserved to have a share of and the great thing was that I was not alone. I had these wonderfully committed Marriage Encounter people to guide me, to teach me, to dampen my sometimes over enthusiasm but best of all to walk the walk with me. People like Andrea and Anna who workshopped our first block of talks, who gave up their evenings to guide us and keep us on focus, people like Des and Andrea who challenged us into our first leadership role over 20 years ago and who had formed us and supported us in our journey. These were just a few of the people who wanted to journey the same journey we wanted. These are some of the people that taught us that we were indeed a part of this wonderful Body of Christ.

One of the greatest gifts Marriage Encounter has given me is my new understanding of Priesthood and the place that Priests have in my life.
While my childhood experience of Priest had been a positive and enjoyable experience, it was also a time when I put them on pedestal, when I revered them as God’s representative on earth and where I judged they were different to us. Almost unhuman, saintly, set apart, someone to be feared, liked but not loved, respected but not loved. They performed Gods work on earth and were therefore better and holier than us mere mortals, they were nice guys but they were different. Thank God for Marriage Encounter, because it was there that I learned to love and share my life with some wonderful guys that also had chosen to be Priests. My love for these guys has changed my life, I have been blessed with the presence of Paul in my life, of Carl in my life of Ron and Matthew in my life and now with John in my life. 

Agnes –

Our Marriage Encounter weekend awakened so many dreams in me.  It gave me the tools and inspiration to dream great dreams for our marriage; the weekend also gave me a wonderful opportunity to live out those dreams.  I was able to learn new things about myself and grow in our love relationship.   We discovered such energy and passion in our marriage; we were on fire with love for each other.

But that’s not the only gift that we received on that wonderful weekend.  We also received the gift of mission; we were reborn in our commitment and love for our faith and our church.  And we discovered that Priests were people too!  We had the rare opportunity to discover and fall in love with our Priests. 

We discovered a different church than what we had experienced before and we so wanted to be a part of this great church.  The people that we met in this church had such a fire in their bellies for their church.  Their faith and commitment to their little church inspired us, we felt so enthused by these people. 

Those people we worked with and played with in our early days in Marriage Encounter really guided us; they took us by the hand and led us.  They inspired us to greater things in our own relationship and showed us how we too could be apostolic.

Davis -

The very first time I felt an extraordinary strong call to mission deep in my guts happened on my original Marriage Encounter weekend. I was captivated by the strong sense of mission and love of our church, which the team couples, so obviously had. Their love, vision and enthusiasm were contagious, and I longed to work with them in some way. I came under the influence of extraordinary couples, Emy and Colin, Albert and Cecilia, Gerry and Marie, whose capacity for love, service and sheer hard work gave me a wholly new vision of what being apostolic meant. They had a remarkable gift of relationship and of making the Gospel speak to people of today. I always learnt so much just by being in their presence – little things, such as criticism kills, affirmation builds; and bigger things, such as every worthwhile meeting should contain three elements – formation, affirmation, and information. They were prayerful, reflective and wise when they began to found a new community, when they selected and formed leaders, when they communicated with all the relevant stakeholders, and when they confronted difficult problems within a particular community. They were my heroes, and my mentors, and I was able to share with them my own hopes and dreams, and my challenges and difficulties, in mission. Their commitment to the church and ME made me feel very close to them it was my privilege to have worked and the Unit co-ordinating team priest with Colin and Emy, Gerry and Marie. As NET I worked very closely with Chacko and Valsa for five years. Their sense of commitment to ME and capacity to work and ability to provide good and effective leadership made feel very close to them and we worked together for the growth of ME India. It was indeed a very enriching experience. As an ecclesial team we learned to share our negative and positive feelings; our concerns and constraints.  As we worked together in leadership position I was challenged to reveal more of myself than I ever had before, and to communicate my own feelings, especially the negative ones that were affecting the relationships. And now as ACT, I am delighted to work with Alex and Agnes Cho fro Korea. They are efficient, committed, hardworking and loving. Though we are at different places we communicate through e-mail and phone calls and we have come very close to each other. We share the same dream of working as an  effective ecclesial team for Asia. Now I begin to understand more deeply what an ecclesial team is all really about, and why this more relationship style of leadership is important for our church. I constantly thank all those couples who have shared their faith and love with me. I would like to tell all the NETs present here and in particular to all the couples that we love you and appreciate your partnership with us in the ministry of spreading the good news. Your commitment to ME and catholic church would always remain source of inspiration.
3. Priscilla & Aquila’s  home as church

3.1 Davis

We know that Paul’s first stay in Corinth lasted some 18 months and that we stayed with his newfound friends and fellow-minsters, Priscilla & Aquila, around 50AD. Several years Paul is residing in Ephesus, and in his first letter to the Corinthians which he writes from Ephesus (around 54AD) he sends: “hearty greeting in the Lord from Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house” (1 Cor 16/19). Clearly they have followed Paul, and their house in Ephesus has become the centre for Christian gathering in that city. By the time Paul writes the letter to the Romans several years later still (around 57AD) Aquila & Prisca have returned to Rome, and sure enough they establish “a church in their place”(Rom 16/5). They have become the centre of the local church wherever they are. Christians gather in their house for the weekly Eucharist, listening to God’s word, for baptisms for prayer and fellowship; their home is truly a domestic church, a house-church, a home that is always open to fellow believers, where there would be prayer-meetings, outreach to those in need, and discussions on mission.

3.1   Couple sharing

Alex –

Before our weekend my experience of Church in the Home was those times when we would have a house Mass. It never occurred to me that church existed outside the church building walls or for our family sometimes in our lounge. I really had no concept that church was about loving, about example and about reaching out. Church was an institution that had leaders called Priests that were there to save our souls, protect us from the fires of hell, save us from the loneliness of purgatory and to prepare us for heaven. If anyone had said Agnes’s and my relationship was a little church I would have looked sideways at him or her. My time in Marriage Encounter has shed a new light on Church. I now know that when I love Agnes I am reflecting Christ’s love that is church. I know when I am reaching out to others, that is church. I know when I am supporting and loving our Priests, that is church. I know that when our light is shining like the lighthouse beacon that is church. I know that our love relationship is a refection of Christs love relationship with his spouse, the church. I know that church is people and that my relationship with people is a mirror of church. Before my weekend I had no idea of the power of a relationship with a priest. As I have said, Priests were holy people, set apart, to be revered not loved. How wrong I was. My acceptance of Priests as people, as men needing love and acceptance was a changing point in my relationship with the church. What a powerful sign to the world of Christs love for his people is the ecclesial relationship of a priest and a couple. For me, the relationship of Aquila, Pricilla and Paul is a shining example of this relationship church that we now know is the mirror of Christ. So from being raised in an atmosphere of church as an institution I am now blessed with the knowledge that church in our home has nothing to do with visits from priests, house masses or saying the rosary, but all about being a living shining light of a relationship way of life, it is all about reflecting Christs love to the world through my relationships. And the good part is that there is no sacrifice involved, the more I love, the more I receive, the more I forgive, and the more I am forgiven. Now when I speak of church in my home I no longer mean my house, I mean my heart because it is in my heart that I keep all those that I love.

Agnes - 

On our original weekend the concept of “little church” really captured. My imagination.  The couples on the weekend presented it in such a way that I could relate to.  Here I was being presented with a concept that I could take home and use in my own life, a concept that could only bring life to our relationship.

Over the years since those couples planted that seed in my heart about “little Church” my understanding and growth in this area has been great.  I’ve learnt about my love relationship with Alex mirroring the love relationship we have with God.  What an amazing, freeing, growth-inducing concept this has been in our life. 

Knowing that my holiness is intimately linked with my relationship brings the church into my home.  It makes my home a holy place, a sacred place, a place where God is lifted up and revered on a daily basis. 

Being a part of an ecclesial team has been a wondrous journey for us.  Until this new journey we have always been an ecclesial team with Fr Peter.  We have journeyed with him, laughed with him, trialogued with him, cried with him, argued with him, and loved him.   Over the years he has become a part of our family, he comes to our home not as a guest but as a special family member who is always welcome and who fits in as a close family member does.   We share such wonderful memories with Peter, the travel stories, the playing stories, going to shows together, the list goes on.  When Peter recently moved his parish we were automatically asked to speak at his our situation and take dinner earlier this year.  Peter brings richness to our family church and he truly is an intimate part of the fabric of our lives.

3.1 Davis-

When we come to 2 Timothy, Paul’s last letter, we are in the last year of his life, 64AD. Paul is in prison in Rome and his life’s work is almost over. In 2 Tim 4/1 the couple is mentioned again, and it is quite possible they are back in the East and that their home is once again a house-church. Paul’s friendship with this couple has lasted through 15 years, and has obviously been a source of support and inspiration for him.


I can say without the shadow of a doubt that my chief inspiration in my personal life and in my priesthood has been the close friendship I have with several couples. Friendship with five couples in particular began with the leadership position we shared as an ecclesial team and weekend teams. We naturally went through our communication difficulties and struggles with our own superiorities and inferiorities. We learnt more about our personality styles and our behaviour patterns, and began to trust each other on a deeper level, we shared more fully our hopes and dreams, our difficulties and our pain. I was challenged not only to stay in the relationship, but to be committed to being intimate and responsible always. I began to relax more fully, and found myself sharing aspects of my life that I never had before; the more I shared, the more I was drawn into the relationship. I realized that I became more open and trusting with my staff members (all Professors) young University students and parishioners of the Cathedral church where I have been serving for the past23 years, and far more positive and affirming in my general approach to life. On behalf all the priests here I would like to thank all the couple here leaders of  WWME,  for your partnership in the gospel. I appreciate very much your strong sense of commitment to each other and church and ME. I have learned much form you r commitment, “in good times and bad, in sickness and health, in adversity and prosperity I shall honour you and love and remain true to you, till death do us part.” It is so easy for a priest to ask for a transfer when the relationship between the priest and people are not so pleasing. Where as you stick to one model!! In my many retreats I have preached to Religious and Priest, I have told them that I consider my parents as holier than me; so is the case for every priest and Religious!!! Their life of fidelity and love, sacrifice and devotion has always inspired and motivated me.

After leadership our friendship grew. I had gained so much on a personal level. I valued the intimacy we shared immensely. Whenever I was struggling our trialogue would so quickly remind me of the love, which was surrounding me. Whenever I needed advice or counselling their attentive listening and honest challenging would bring wisdom and perspective to the situation. Our relationship has been part and parcel of my personal and spiritual journey. They have helped me move beyond the institutional church with all its shortcomings and failures, and any anger I might have with it, to a more accepting level of life where relationship, community, mystery  of faith and trust in the Lord are the essentials. Their relationship and their wonderful faith remind me of what is essential,

Over the years their home became my home, and I was always welcomed as part of their family, especially at special family celebrations. I felt loved and respected both as a human being and as a priest. I often think that they are my Bethany in my journey through life. You see I’m pretty sure that Jesus’ most intimate friendships were with Martha, Mary and Lazarus, rather than with his disciples, and I know that a lifelong friendship is one of the sweetest joys in life, which I am sure was also prized by Jesus.


                                 How does it make me feel now?

Globally Competitive Education: The need for Enlightened leadership and System

(Key Note address at Xavier Institute, Jabalpur at the National Seminar on April 2, 3 and 4, 2009.)

Swami Vivekananda,“Education can unlock all doors for progress,” A nation advances in proportion to education and intelligence spread among masses.” If      India      is to grow to her full potentials a strong, united, prosperous nation, a nation attuned to the highest and ethical moral values, true to the genius of her cultural and spiritual heritage; it is possible only through transformation and regenerative power into her full potential as strong united nation with strong moral and cultural values.”

Higher Education is the main instrument for all development and change. It has the important task of preparing leaders for different walks of life. In the context of the unprecedented explosion of knowledge, especially in science and technology, higher education has become much more dynamic than before.

However, in the era of globalization the students are seen as participants rather than as receivers or buyers of a final product. There fore as the major stakeholders of the academic community, students have to share responsibility for their education and for the institution which provides the frame work for this education.

One of the areas of students’ participation in higher education is student valuation of the academic performance of the teachers, management, the Principal, Non-teaching staff and the other facilities provided by the institution. Monitoring should be a regular activity and based on acceptance by the stakeholders.

The curriculum should also have an eye on job opportunities available so that he students bridge the gap between the world of education and the world outside. The curriculum should be designed with due care to students expectations and aspirations. Curricula framed must be need based and socially relevant and must be periodically restructured and up dated.

Information Technology: An effective tool for quality enhancement in Higher Education

The world has moved into 21st century with the technological boom. Globalization has become an expression of common usage. The recent developments in information technology have accelerated the progress of global integration with open      sky, porous borders      and reluctant geography. The   human society has already seen two major transition sin the past: one for tribal to agrarian society and the other from agrarian to industrial society. The third transformation has begun in nineties withextensiveuseofinternetbasedcommunicationthatresultedinacceleratedgrowthanddevelopmentofinformationTechnology.The on going convergence of communication technologies ,integrating Computation, Telecommunication and Broadcasting, is rapidly changing the whole array of processes and requirements of society. Fortunately ,our bold initiatives in eighties on economic liberalization are emphasis on computers; software and telecom are bearing fruit with many global success stories, which give us the confidence to move even faster to be a Developed Society by 2 020.

The powerful nature if IT is expressed in the report by ‘National Task Force on Information Technologies (1998), appointed by the Government of India, as follows: “Information Technology (IT) modernizes the economy. Expands and deepens the possibility in education accelerates growth, creates large-scale direct and indirect employment to the educated youth, and boosts exports. If there is one single technology that can be applied right across all sectors of technology, all area of administration, all levels of education and all types of services, IT IS Information Technology. Similarly, if there is one technology where India can emerge as a strong global player in the foreseeable future, it is IT.”

We require paradigm shift in our system of traditional education, tail or edfor the industrial society. Into Electronic Education that imparts personalized education on a mass scale to the emerging information society.

Higher education, especially technical education, would have to address the industry’s needs and the advances in technology. We   need to drastically change our frame work and mind set on higher education. We need to revamp the existing systems, which still cater to an agrarian and industrial society, for fulfilling aspirations of the emerging global society. We need to create new levels of leadership in emerging areas of Biotechnology, Embedded Circuitry, Environmental Health, Informatics, Nanotechnology, Omics, and Smart Technologies. We need to ensure participation of various stakeholders in designing of our curricula. We need to launch new  multi-disciplinary packages with flexibility in content and curriculum based on a modular approach that provides multiple credit sand exits to students. We need more of quality teachers thoroughly trained in their subject in informatics. We need to develop only one buzzword–certifiable quality in higher education.

Leaders as Catalysts: Redefining Roles and Responsibilities

“Be the change you want to see in the world”, Mahatma Gandhi
In the convocation address to the University of Allahbad on December 13, 1947, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru said,” A vast responsibility there fore rests on our Universities and educational institutions and those who guide their destinies. They have to keep their light burning and must not stray from the right path even when passion convulses the multitude and blinds many amongst those whose duty is to set an example for others.”

Honorable Justice S. Mohan, Judge of the Madras High Court, while addressing the 5th convocation at Bharathidasan an University. Headed,“ Education must shift from instruction; it must shift from mere learning. It must induce probing and exploring. It is education, which has assisted the process of development of human society. It alone has been instrumental in making the people to meet the challenges wrought by the ever-changing situations.”

As Joseph Addison said,” what sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the human soul? The philosopher, the saint, the hero, the wise, and the good, or the great, very often lie hid and concealed in a plebeian, which hap roper education might have disinterred and brought in light.” As Kant put it,” Man can only become man by education. He is merely what education makes of him.”

A P J Abdul Kalam at the convocation ceremony of Jiwaji University Gwalior, on 10th August, 2004 said, “India has a population of one billion people. Out of this one billion, 540 million people are below the age of 25 years, which his our national strength. We have natural resources. Also we have a road map for transforming India into a developed nation by the year 2020. Ignited minds of the 540 million youth will definitely transform India in to a developed country by the year 2020.”

'Education’, as Nobel Laureate, Prof. Amartya Sen has said, is essentially about' capacity building and it widens the choice of people and empowers the nations.’ The world is moving in to what is characterized’ as information age. The various markets forces are restructuring the economic content of our lives. The impact, that has pervaded almost all walks of life, is largely discernible in the modes of production, dissemination of knowledge, use of information network sand mass media, which are redefining the prospects of employment and employability”.

Our mission is to stature the intellectual, physical and moral development of our students by providing the man environment that realistically reveals superior quality and acceptable global standard education. Promote a educational culture that nurtures unity, tolerance and respect in its diversity, in order to equip our students to meet the challenges
And opportunities of leading and contributing to an increasingly global society.
Teachers missions, therefore, to steadily and soundly endow an academic environment that organizes competent professional who can render high quality, up-to-date and relevant education leadership in vocational, tertiary and higher level of learning.

Internationalization of Quality Higher Education in India: Challenges and future prospects.

Urgent action should be taken in the matter of finalization of Govt. policies relating to the promotion of Indian education abroad.
The UGCAct,1956, and the Acts of other statutory councils, need to be amended to include a specific provision allowing universities to open off-shore campuses and export Indian Education through the distance mode.
There is a need to specify, within the existing legal framework, procedures relating to registration etc.
The government should advise Indian Embassies and Higher Commission abroad to play a proactive role in providing information regarding the facilities for higher education available in India.
There is a need to adopt an open-door for self-financing students.
The government statutory bodies and the UGC should grant greater autonomy and flexibility to universities in dealing with the process of admission of foreign students.
The government should set up a single-window clearance mechanism, in their form of task force including representatives of different bodies like the UGC, AICTE and MCI for admitting students to different professional programs.
The government should consider establishing a financial mechanism for international education, such as a possible International Education development Bank.
The government should setup a mechanism for monitoring the standard of education that is imparted by foreign universities.

Recommendations to Academic Institutions.

Universities and other academic institutions which decide to enroll a large number of international students need to have a good infrastructure in the form of lecture halls etc.
The academic institutions must evaluate their strengths in different disciplines of education, and identify areas that would attract international students at different levels.
The procedure for granting admission to international students must be specified.
The ‘Social infrastructure ’should be strengthened so as to place the international students at ease.
International education is at woway process and it is essential that Indian academic institutions, and especially the universities, should establish partnerships and develop network with foreign universities in both the developed and developing countries.

System of Governance of Higher Education Institutions: The Universities are various kinds: with a single faculty, or multi-faculties; teaching or affiliating, or teaching cum affiliating, single campus or multiple campuses. Most of the Universities are affiliating universities, which prescribe to the affiliated colleges the course of study, hold examinations and award degrees, while undergraduate and to some extent post the colleges affiliated to the impart graduate instruction. Many of the universities along with their affiliated colleges have grown rapidly to the extent of becoming unmanageable. Therefore, as per National Policy on Education, 1986, a scheme of autonomous colleges was promoted. In the autonomous colleges, where as the degree continues to be awarded by the University, the name of the college is also included. The colleges develop and propose new courses of study to the University for Approval. They are also fully responsible for conduct of examination. There are at present 138 autonomous colleges in the country.

Focus of Ninth Plan: Thrust are as are: measures for quality improvement and modernization of syllabi, renewal of infrastructure, extra-budgetary resource mobilization and greater attention to issues in governance. Issues of access and relevance would receive attention. Conferment  of grater autonomy to deserving colleges and professional up gradation of teachers through Academic Staff Colleges would be given priority. Emphasis is being placed on consolidation and optimal utilization of the existing infrastructure through institutional networking, restructuring expansion, so as to only meet the demand of the unnerved areas with a focus on women and underprivileged sections. The Open University system, which has been growing in popularity and size, is striving to diversify courses and offerings and gain wider acceptability by upgrading its quality. It would focus more sharply on the educational needs of women and rural society, as well as professional training of in-service employees.

Impact of Globalization on Higher Education in India.

Education system in India can be dated centuries back to the age of Buddha but, now, there has in fact been substantial improvement in the higher education state of affairs of Indian both quantitative and qualitative terms post globalization.

The higher education system in India suffers from acute paucity of funds, lack of autonomy, burden of affiliation etc. It is characterized by extreme rigidity and lack of flexibility. There a weakness of the higher education is in the structure itself, and there is a need for introspection and reflection on what we have achieved and where do we go from here during the times of globalization on the other hand, the effects of globalization on education bring rapid developments in technology and communications are foreseeing changes within learning systems across the  world asides, values and knowledge, changing the roles of students and teachers, and producing a shift in society from industrialization towards an information based society

The globalization is not a new, but is an old age concept which was first introduced by Adam Smith in the year 1776 through the book titled,’ Wealth of Nations”. He argued that a country as a whole would gain by having trade relations with other countries. The whole globalization connotes were all the nations join their hands with each other and create a kind of socio-economic environment to do business or any commercial, cultural and educational activities in which he very participant nation should be benefited.

The process of globalization has transformed world trade, communications, educational activities and economic relations in the latter part of the 20th Century, is having a similar profound effect on education at the start of the 21st century.

The impact of globalisation on higher education may now be summarised in the following ways:

Increasing interest of parents to their children admitted to foreign educational institutions will cost us precious foreign exchange. In1997-98, about 31,000 students were studying in the USA, which cost us 62crore dollars (Rs3, 000 crore).

Sometimes there is also the possibility of sub-standard courses being offered to the students, which may lead to cheating of innocent citizens of India.

It will lead to the creation of three different classes of graduates---those educated in foreign universities, those from costly private domestic institutions, and those from economically weaker sections studying government funded institutions. This will only lead to social tensions.

In view of the nature of the globalise higher education, the commoditisation of Indian higher education is bound to have an adverse effect on our culture, the ethos of social welfare and even the quality of Indian education system.

The government of India has recognised these dangerous phenomena and belatedly started the process of constituting a Committee for the Promotion of Indian Education Abroad (COPIE) under the ministry of human resources development, department of education. During 2001, there were 54,664 Indian students in the United States alone, with the total number abroad exceeding 10 lakhs. In contrast, there were only 7,791 foreigner students in India, mainly from the developing countries like Bangladesh and countries of South and East Asia. On the other hand, the number of foreigners in Australian universities has increased in 10years from 47,000 to1,80,000 (in2000) and this contributed to the Australian economy to the extent of 3.2 billion dollars.
The emphasis of extensive privatisation and commercialisation of education and deregulation by advanced industrial countries are understandable in terms of the following facts:
Sixty percent of production and employment is in the service sector.
It accounts for two thirds of the, European Union’s economy and jobs and for one fourth of its exports.

It accounted for two thirds of the US’s economic growth in the last five years.
As the private sector’s contribution in higher education in India is gaining in strength, India cannot take recourse to article 1.3 of the GATS that allow sex emption for services provided by the government. In order to cope with the western countries, the measures required include the adoption of accredit based semester system with continuous internal evaluation, a cafeteria type option to the students for the course to be offered and facilitates of credit transfer. A majority of conventional universities in India are far behind, at least in non-professional courses. As the UGC, AICTE (All India Council of Technical Education) and other controlling agencies are not in a position to intervene effectively and control the foreign educational institutions, the government of India has set up a committee under the NAAC, under its chairman Ram Takwale, to monitor the applying foreign universities. At present 150 foreign universities (50from UK, 45 from Australia, 30 from USA and the rest from Canada and other European countries that have been operating in India. The UGC has decided to invite proposals from institutions that are keen on “exporting Indian education” to foreign learners under a “Study India Programme(SIP).”A recent study shows that one in every 10 students studying in the US was an Indian, while less than 0.6 percent of American students were receiving educational credit for studying in India.

Globalisation and commercialisation of education has thus become a reality and, India being a signatory to the WTO as also to the WATS, we have to be very much cautious about the functioning of the foreign educational institutions.

The entire higher education in India has thus been thrown into a dangerous situation, which was never witnessed before. The World Bank has published a report on higher education in developing countries, titled Peril and Promise. Is there any doubt, however, that the current drive of globalisation of higher education will not bring any promise to developing countries; on the contrary, it will thrust into a catastrophic peril the higher education system in developing countries?

Educational Leadership and Accountability.

As Ralph Nader rightly said, “I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” According to John Quincy Adams, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, you are a leader.” Leaders make things happen.

Student Participation for Quality Enhancement in Higher Education.

The main stakeholder of the educational system is students. Without them, schools would remain dead buildings and meaningless structures. Principals make significant contribution in the areas of student’s capacity building, teaching and learning. Interpersonal qualities of Principals showed acommonand consistent set of personal traits, behaviors, values and beliefs, such as honesty and openness, highly developed communication skills, flexibility, commitment, passion, empathy with others, asense of' innate goodness', support of equity and social justice, a belief that all children are important and can succeed, being other-centred, high expectations and a belief that schools can make a difference. Principal’s relationship with students would be of great significance particularly in today’s context. He could be a connecting link between students belonging to different communities, religions, social status and backgrounds. He could build the mindset of the future citizens on gospel values. In the context of communal violence and growing hatred towards Christian presence and missionary activity, it is vital that we let our students know who we are and what the main teachings of Christ are. The purpose of education is the healthy interaction between information and formation resulting in transformation of life. More than filling the empty minds with knowledge, we must enable them to develop soft skills, make them appreciate the good things in life and contribute to make this world a better place to live in. We must develop in them an attitude of gratitude and loyalty, lest they take our institutions as commercial entities. Focus on holistic development. We have introduced what is known as 4 H Method (Head, Heart, Hands and Habits) for the integral development of students.

Higher Education in 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities.

India's government will create 12 new central universities, adding to the 18th at currently exist. This is a mammoth undertaking and the equivalent of US$73 million has been allocated from the central government budget to it. Earlier this year India announced it would create 30 'world class' universities, eight new Indian institutes of technology and seven Indian institutes of management in the coming five years. On there commendation of the National Knowledge Commission, the central government is planning massive investment to upgrade and expand higher education. Other plans include enhancing the salaries of college and university academics-boosting salaries by as much as 70%.

This prospect represents welcome news since India currently lacks world class universities according to the international rankings, and Indian academics, when compared internationally, are rather poorly paid. Students also suffer an immense shortage of places in India's top academic institutions and through out the higher education system. India today educates only half as many young people from the university age group as China and ranks well behind most Latin American and other middle income countries.

India exhibits a special problem at the top of its higher education hierarchy. With the notable exceptions of the institutes of technology and institutes of management, and a small number of outstanding non-university research and training institutions-such as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences-top-notch schools are rare. Indeed, none of India's 348 universities is ranked in the top 100 in the world. Generally, when India has wanted to innovate in the higher education sector, it has side-stepped the universities and has started entirely new institutions such as the institutes of technology.

However, if India invests large amounts of money and human capital into academic improvement and expansion without undertaking strategies to ensure that the investment will yield results, resources will be wasted and failure will be assured. Despite a discussion of organizing some of the new universities based on the American model, so far neither the ideas nor the funding seems adequate. Yet, a news paper reported that one official said: "The view was that there should be no hierarchy or disparity in standards amongst universities, and there forms and changes suggested forward class universities should be applied to all universities.”This attitude shows a complete misunderstanding that the American system institutes significant hierarchy among the public universities.

Just pumping money and resources into a fundamentally broken university system is a mistake. Establishing new universities, especially those intended to be innovative, requires careful planning and an understanding of the weaknesses of the current system. Let us outline some of the problems that need fixing before resources are given.
 Academic culture and governance: Indian universities are enmeshed in a culture of mediocrity, with little competition either among institutions or academics. Universities are subject to the whims of politician sand are unable to plan for their own futures. Academics are seldom involved in the leadership and management of universities. Bureaucracy governs everything and holds down innovation.

With out essential and deep structural change in how universities are governed and in the culture of institutions, there is little possibility for improvement. An additional challenge is that some of the world class universities are to be created by improving existing state universities. This will be extraordinarily difficult, since these institutions are, with very few exceptions, miredinmediocrity and bureaucracy, and hardly amenable to change and improvement, even with the carrot of additional resources.

An element of corruption exists at many levels of the higher education system, from favoritism in admissions, appointment to faculty positions, exam cheating, questionable coaching arrangements, and many others. Damaging at all levels, corruption destroys are search culture and makes a world class university impossible.

Higher Education for Employability on Students

The rapid growth of higher education over the past fifty years has seen expectations increase, and governments seeking to widen participation. There is now an urgent need for the Government and higher education institutions to address the issue of graduate employability. The authors of this timely book encourage apro-activestance, offering a ground-breaking model that can be easily implemented in institutions to make low-cost, high-gain improvements to students' employability.

Higher education institutions must recognize that for many students the transition from education into employment is not a straight forward matter and in the past many students have been ill-equipped for this transition. During the1990s, this issue has been exacerbated because of the considerable expansion in graduate numbers which has taken place within are latively short period of time. Further more, the nature of graduate employment is changing; today it is only a minority of students who can hold any realistic expectation of employment in a position directly related to the discipline studied; this is particularly the case for those students whose focus remains within traditional academic disciplines. Whilst it is essential that the academic standards of particular disciplines or broader fields of study are not undermined it is also important to be realistic and to note that the academic knowledge gained will (for most students) never be utilized directly in any employment context. More and more, the academic qualification of the degree is merely a statement that the graduate has demonstrated the ability to perform to a particular level of academic competence and, perhaps more importantly, possesses the ability to learn.

Today's graduates are faced with a quite different employment challenge than that of earlier generations (which of course includes most of those employed to teach them whilst at university). Research conducted on behalf of the Association of Graduate Employers noted in 1995 that unemployed graduates felt "short changed" by higher education institutions which had failed to note that the "rules of the game had changed" and consequently (despite fulfilling the traditional goal of a "good degree")had not provided them with the essential skills for employment.

Furthermore, it should also be recognized that even for those in work, the nature of employment is changing such that education (higher and other wise) is the first step in a continuing programme of life long learning-much of which will subsequently be conducted in a work place setting.

It is against this back ground that national debate has arisen about with what should universities and other institutions offer to their students. Since 1997, this debate has been fuelled by the report from the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education (Dearing Committee) which has recommended that:

"....institutions of higher education [should] begin immediately to develop, for each programme they offer a' programme specification 'which....Gives the intended outcome      s of the programme in terms of :the knowledge and understanding that a student will be expected to have on completion; keyskills: communication, numerically, the use of information technology and learning how to learn; cognitive skills, such as an understanding of methodologies or ability in critical analysis; subject specific skills, such as laboratory skills."

The economic development and progress of any nation depends on its higher education system. Our modern higher education system was established in 1857 by our colonial relents and it has not changed much since its inception In its concepts and organizational structures (such as the affiliation system). In recent times, our higher education system has been discussed in many forums with regard to its relevance and quality. India is ranked third interms of graduates out put next to that of USA and China, but interms of quality we are trailing behind, as hardly 1 percent of our students get quality education.

Indian economy is experiencing an accelerated growth of more than 9 percent in there cent years and is poised to grow further. The World Development Report (2007) emphasizes that in India the situation of increasing youth population presents an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate growth and reduce poverty. Because labour is the main asset of the poor, making it more productive is the best way to reduce poverty. This requires enhancing the opportunity to earn money and developing the human capital to take advantage of those opportunities. The progress, prosperity and accelerated growth in economy require support from the higher education system in providing an uninterrupted supply of a skilled and efficient workforce.

Need for skilled manpower: In many countries, building a work force with higher order skills is an important part of improving the climate for investment, acquiring a competitive edge and generally maintaining an engine of growth (World Development Report, 2007). Higher education enhance earnings of the individuals and contributes to economic development and makes a significant contribution to reduction in absolute as well as relative poverty. A recent survey among our students has shown that 75 percent of our students are studying for employment (that is learning is for earning).

More than 50 percent of our GDP is supported by service sectors and about 28 percent is through the manufacturing sector. The McKinsey Global Institute predicts that during 2008 ,about 160 million jobs inservice are likely to be out sourced and hence India stands to have a better opportunity in getting a lion’s share in that opportunity, since we are the global leaders in IT and BPO out sourcing. The report also says that Indianeedsa2.3-million-strong IT and BPO work force in the next two years. The same report has also cautioned that India will confront a potential shortage of skilled workers in IT and BPO industries.

According to an Evaluation Survey Report, the KPO sector will create 2,50,000 jobs by 2010 and for every job created in the offshore financial sector, that will result in creation of an additional two-three jobs in other sector. A report on global skills for graduates in financial services (Business Standard, June6, 2007) also says 58 percent of our financial service organizations are facing difficulties in recruiting people with right set of skills. At present only 25 percent of our technical graduates and 10–15 percent of general graduates are suitable for employment.

Further in association with industry, an industry internship programme has been made mandatory so that the graduates can understand the industry atmosphere and the industries can identify the talents and skills in our graduates and employ them when opportunities arise. The future of industry depends on the availability of trained graduates not only for its day-to-day working but also for innovative approaches on which the growth of industry finally depends. Improving of skills and capabilities as related to the requirements of the society is the basic task of universities.

Skills which are more in demand should be provided by our universities, on a priority basis. While introduction of soft skills and language skills will certainly improve the employability of our graduate students, vocationalisation of tertiary education will enable the graduates to become entrepreneurs. Hence, efforts are underway to introduce the professional skills for all undergraduate students from the next academic year at the University of Madras.

Conclusion: The growing economy now faces shortage of competent man power.
There is a mismatch between required qualifications and competencies. The achievements in terms of academic qualifications do not show up in terms of competencies in the work area. There is a big difference between the actual learning out comes and the required learning outcomes.
The growing concern now is the ever increasing number of unemployable graduates. Hence, therefore min the higher education system must necessarily provide the skilled graduates with suitable value additions in order to meet the demands of the growing economy.