Augustine Perumalil, SJ
Ever since the Delhi Region of the Society of Jesus (later Delhi Province) was formed in Jan 1988, it had been the dream of the province to enter into the field of higher education. Gradually, a building was constructed on a small plot of land (donated by late Dr Nazareth) at Hathroi Fort Road, Jaipur and St Xavier’s College was inaugurated on 10 Aug 2010 and got it affiliated to the University of Rajasthan. The college offers courses in B.Com, BBA, BCA, BA Hons. in English and Economics.
While inaugurating the new college at Hathroi Fort Road, Jaipur, Mr Ashok Gehlot, the then chief minister of Rajasthan, exhorted the Jesuits to go beyond a college and to work towards establishing a university. He offered a plot of land for this purpose at a subsidized rate. Accordingly, on 20 Oct 2011, thirty acres of land was obtained at Nevta, off the Ajmer Road, to develop an educational complex. The development of the educational complex was to be done in phases keeping pace with the availability of resources. The first phase constituting of a school and B.Ed. college was to begin immediately. Work started in February 2014 and progressed steadily as scheduled under the able supervision of Jesuits.
The proposed B. Ed College did not take place as the government had stopped opening of any new B. Ed college in Rajasthan. Meanwhile, in July, a new degree college started at Hathroi Fort Road, and all the 660 seats allotted to the college got filled, leaving a considerable number of students in the waiting list. But due to lack of space, further developments of the college became difficult.
It was at this juncture that the idea of starting a new campus of the college in the newly-constructed school building was mooted. The proposal seemed to have many merits, like fulfilling the primary purpose for which the land at Nevta was bought, early starting of the process of shifting the college to Nevta, where there are greater opportunities for growth and expansion.
As the government rules would not permit two campuses of the same college at a great distance, it was decided to have the expansion in the form of a second college in Nevta campus. Accordingly, permissions were sought from the Jesuit headquarters in Delhi and in Rome. Fr. Augustine Perumalil was entrusted with the responsibility of pursuing the matter. In December an application was submitted to the UoR (Univeristy of Rajasthan) for fresh affiliation, and new recruitments were made. Another application was submitted to the Department of College Education for No Objection Certificate.
After necessary preparations and against all odds and uncertainties, the new college began to function from 1 July 2015. A formal blessing and inauguration of the new college took place as scheduled, on 1 August. With this, a leaf was being turned to start a new chapter in the history of Jaipur Xavier Educational Society, and the city of Jaipur as a whole. In both colleges together, the Province is catering to more than 2100 college students.
Another initiative in the field of higher education is the proposed branch of XLRI, Jhajjar, Haryana, India. In 2006 a plot of land was bought for future Province work like formation etc in Jhajjar district of Haryana. In 2012, the province, desiring to have an institute of MBA in its mission area, entered into an agreement with XLRI, Jamshedpur, to start a similar institute in Jhajjar. According to the agreement, the province will donate the land to XLRI, so that the latter will develop the place and administer the institute in collaboration with the Delhi Province. Work is in progress although some hurdles do block the speed.