The St Xavier’s University, Kolkata, a private university run by Jesuits, awarded DLitt (Honoris Causa) to Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee during its annual convocation on Monday.
She was honoured for her contribution in the field of social services and spread of education, vice-chancellor Father Felix Raj said in the presence of state Governor C V Ananda Bose, the visitor to all the private universities, including St Xavier’s, at the university’s fourth convocation today.
Accepting the honour at the ceremony the chief minister said she was “grateful” to the university and felt “privileged” and “touched” by receiving the honour.
Governor C V Ananda Bose presented the citation to the chief minister. “ A deserving woman got the honour,” the Governor later said.
After receiving the award, the chief minister while delivering the convocation speech said she would dedicate the degree to the “common man” of the country and of the state.
“I will dedicate this degree to the common people because I always want to be a commoner … I am a commoner…It will be my part to dedicate this to the people of the country, to the people of the state, specially to the weaker sections… Please give me the strength never to disown the poor…” the chief minister said.
She lauded the university for running the institution successfully and reaching great heights within a short span since its inception.
“ I was extremely happy when I saw the progress of the university. The university was fully functional only within a few months after it started functioning…” the chief minister said.
St Xavier’s University was conceived in 2011, when Father Felix Raj, the present vice-chancellor was the principal of St Xavier’s College, Kolkata.
In January 2012, the chief minister while attending the annual convocation of St Xavier’s College, had proposed to Father Felix Raj if the Jesuits could start a separate university.
Mamata promised to extend her government support and provided 17 acres of land for setting up the university campus, in New Town, Rajarhat.
Later, the St Xavier’s University, Kolkata, Act 2016 was unanimously passed by the Bengal Assembly in the same year and the then Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi gave his consent to the act in 2017.
Inaugurating the university the same year the chief minister had said that she firmly believed that St Xavier’s University would become a world class institution. “St Xavier’s University will be of global significance, like Harvard and Oxford. The Jesuit principles of faith and service would enable St Xavier’s University to become one of the foremost educational institutions in the country, promoting excellence in education and research”.
Delivering the convocation speech today the chief minister also said that on behalf of her government she would propose to the university to create a chair to be named after Mother Teresa.
Earlier, Father Felix Raj, the vice-chancellor of the university, said the executive committee of the university had recommended the name of Mamata Banerjee for the D.Litt this year for her contributions to the establishment of the university and to the development of higher education in Bengal.Campus, News