First Catholic women’s “college of excellence” completes 50 years

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Story By: Adolf Washington (Mattrs India). Bengaluru: Jyoti Nivas College, a top educational institution for women in India, marked its golden jubilee with a 3-day celebration that ended on August 19.

It claims to be the only Catholic women’s college to be conferred the prestigious status of “College of Excellence” by the University Grants Commission (UGC), a statutory body set up by the Indian government in 1956 for the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of higher education in the country. It provides recognition to universities in India, and disburses funds to such recognized universities and colleges.

Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore led the thanksgiving Mass along with Bishop Henry D’souza of Bellary and Monsignor C. Francis, Vicar General, Bangalore archdiocese and fifty priests.

In his homily, Archbishop Moras commended the Sisters of St Joseph of Tarbes for their involvement in the education of young women in Bengaluru, capital of Karnataka state.

The prelate also applauded the three honors the college received recently. Besides UGC’s College of Excellence award, it was allowed to start the UGC-funded Bachelor of Vocation Studies Programme. It was also reaccredited by the National Accreditation and Assessment Council securing Grade ‘A’ with the highest Cumulative Grade Points Average of 3.76 on a scale of 4 – the highest in the country in 2012.jyoti-nivas-college-autonomous-admissionThe archbishop also asked the college community to live the college motto by becoming the light to the world. He urged them to follow Pope Francis’ encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ that highlights concern for the environment,

Thousands of students, dressed in yellow t-shirts, watched unfurling of at the golden jubilee flag at the foyer of the auditorium just after the congregation’s provincial Sr Philomena Cardoza declared the celebrations open.

The students braved rains as doves were set to fly and fifty gold fish were released into the pond.

Some 2,000 people attended a public function where principal Sister Elizabeth CS delivered the jubilee message.

A documentary that encapsulated the experiences of the former principals was screened on the occasion. A mega dance-drama traced various important milestones of the college.

On the second day, the college set up several stalls that drew attention to ‘50 Golden Steps towards Health and Well Being.’ Workshops on educational innovations and parallel sessions were conducted.

The third day saw 2,600 students sporting yellow t-shirts and social concern placards walk almost 10 km from the old campus at Frazer Town to Koramangala with the ‘Suwarna Jyoti’ leading the way. The students shouted slogans of social concern.

The campus saw a lot of adventure sporting activities, with special activities for children who are mentally challenged. The day ended with a documentary on the history of sports in the college over 50 years.

A special rendition of ‘Fifty Dance Forms’ ended the jubilee program.

The college began with 47 students in 1966 at an annex building of St Francis Xavier’s Girls School. It then shifted to Koramangala in 1977, which was then a deserted place away from the city.

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