As I assume my new responsibilities in St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad, my predominant disposition is finding myself humbly in the hands of God. In the Old Testament of the Bible, Moses felt utterly unworthy to fulfil the mammoth task of leading the Israelites through the red sea and the wilderness, so too I wish to be led by pillars of cloud and fire that represented God’s presence. Under God’s leadership and guidance, we will humbly move inch by inch towards the promised land of peace, progress and prosperity.
Sir Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” I recall gratefully my predecessors, principals, who have led the college to bring it to where it stands today as a five-star college, as rated by GSIRF, and 52nd among the 100 best of the country, as rated by NIRF. We were also reaccredited the fourth time last year with an A+ grade by the NAAC.
I then wish to warmly welcome all of you — faculty, administrative staff, domestic staff, parents and students — especially the new comers to this new academic year 2023-24. May our academic journey together be blessed with deserving successes during the year. Let us also congratulate the students of last year 2022-23, who have successfully graduated out of the college. May they be blessed with success in building careers that will bring us all pride and joy.
This year we enter into a new era of education in the college. We are implementing the National Education Policy (NEP) in the first semester. I want to thank and congratulate our entire faculty for their painstaking labour in preparing the NEP module for the first years under the leadership of NEP Task force and IQAC. I am confident that given the passion with which the faculty has welcomed the NEP, the students will have much to look forward to in the coming years.
We also want to remind ourselves of the special path of education that we tread in Xavier’s. True Xavierites never lose sight of their triple C target! They try to be the best in their subject, which is COMPETENCE. They never achieve anything without CONSCIENCE. They always bear in their hearts a COMPASSION for the needy around. We build character in Xavier’s more than mere personalities!
We have many challenges before us. We need to constantly add new courses that meet the professional demands of the changing times. From a successful autonomous model, we need to move towards the more relevant educational structure of a UNIVERSITY. To present this new face of growing academia, we need a modern building with up-to-date educational facilities. For these herculean tasks, we need a Synodal (Synergetic) leadership and a Synodal governance. We need to journey together from a pyramidal culture of administration into a circular one that makes one and all feel involved and accountable.
Our college must be perceived not as an island institution managed by Christian missionaries but one that breathes the socio-cultural ethos of the state and the country. All citizens of the city beyond class, caste, creed or gender must feel a sense of belonging, ownership and partnership with the institute. It must be an icon representing democratic India with the inclusive participation of all.
There cannot be better way of proceeding than one that is always welcoming, inviting and hospitable. Let all who enter Xavier’s feel received, listened, cared and accompanied.
Education being our primary identity, innovation and imagination takes priority. Creativity which makes a difference must be our motto. The Research Centre and the Library must be the most vibrant hubs of the campus.
Last but not least, the socially, culturally, economically and physically challenged of the society, deserve our priority attention and commitment in Xavier’s. Our Alumni Association is called TOXA, The Old Xavierites’ Association! May I include in this message a dream of “Har Har TOXA, Shahar Shahar TOXA” (Each City with its TOXA Chapter)?
Wishing you all the best for the times ahead!