Siliguri, 18 February: The third phase of the IUS Inter-Continental Seminar on “Education and Social Inclusion: Challenges of Diversity” was held at the Salesian College in Sonada, Darjeeling, from 14-17 February. The seminar was part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the College.
The IUS (Salesian University Institution) is an Association of Don Bosco Universities and Colleges across the world and they comprise 11 universities and 65 colleges spread across 15 countries. The first and second phases were held in Madrid, Spain in February 2013 and Sao Paulo, Brazil in September 2013. It was decided that the next and the concluding phase will be held in Venice, Italy in November this year.
The Intercontinental Seminar Series, sponsored by the Salesian Higher Education Network, is an attempt to bring together the scholars, academicians and educationists to deliberate on the challenges and responses from different cultural contexts, addressing the issue of education and social inclusion, the Salesian College, Sonada, said in a press release.
The seminar dwelt on the question of social inclusion from the diverse regional, linguistic, religious and cultural perspectives so as to get a full picture of how society can be better imagined and organised and where immediate action is required.
The current edition of the seminar was inaugurated by Rev. Fr. Thomas Ellicherail (SDB), Provincial, Salesian of Don Bosco, Kolkata, India. The presidential address was delivered by Br. Mario Olmos (SDB), IUS General Coordinator, Rome. The keynote address was delivered by Padma Bhushan recipient, T.K. Oommen, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Fr. Prof Stephen Mavely, Vice-Chancellor, Assam Don Bosco University, Guwahati, gave the Valedictory address. Puneet Yadav, IAS, the district magistarte, Darjeeling, was the chief guest for the occasion. Prof.Aditya Mukherjee, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, addressed the plenary session on the topic “Communalism and Caste-ism in the Indian Education System: From the Colonial to the Post-Colonial”, wherein he emphasised on the need for a universal, inclusive and secular education.
The principals of eight colleges of the Darjeeling region were felicitated during the seminar. Fr. Prof. George Thadathil, Principal, Salesian College, Sonada-Siliguri; Dr Carlos Nanni, Vice-Chancellor, Pontifical University, Rome; Romane Fortes Santos, Vice Rector, UNISAL and Fr. Dr. Juan Sabinosdb, Coordinator, IUS, Spain led different sessions.
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