On February 16 & 17 2018 at Bishop Heber College, in the state of Tiruchirappalli, India, Dr. D. Paul Dhayabaran, Principal, Bishop Heber College welcomed member participants and invited guests to the India Chapter meeting of Colleges and Universities of Anglican Communion (CUAC). This was the first gathering for the group since CUAC’s Triennial Conference at Madras Christina College in June 2017.
The gathering allowed the chapter members to discuss the unique situation of Christian educational institutions in India. A major topic of discussion was the interaction between member colleges. A deeper level of engagement and cooperation was cited as essential to India’s continued educational and technological achievements on the world stage – and was summarized by Rt. Rev. Dr. G. Paul Vasanthakumar, Bishop Trichy-Thanjavur. Additionally, the topics of technology and developing special programs for student engagement were discussed in dedicated sessions.
In his talk entitled “Promotion of Human Values in our strategic plan in this age of Advanced Technology and communication.” Prof. Jeyakar Chellaraj, former Principal of Bishop Heber College stated that “both technology and values are indispensable.”
During the group session on the topic “Building on our student ambassadors in CUAC and finding new ways to engage students for their upliftment and the role of CUAC (India Chapter) in promoting global responsibilities of CUAC.” Dr. Christina Singh, Principal of Lady Doak College noted “We all members of one body”. She wanted the members to sense the need of others and to respond to it. There is a need to share the resources and break the boundaries of colleges. She insisted that technology must be used to reach more students.”
Dr. Arul Daniel, Former Dean-Academics, National Institute of Technology, Trichy spoke on the topic “How does the technology impact the work culture of educators as well as students in the field of Higher Education?” reviewing many issues and provided the assessment that “if there is no flexibility, there is no need for teaching at all.”
Dr. D. Paul Dhayabaran, Principal, Bishop Heber College traced the history of exchange programmes in Bishop Heber College since 1993. He shared the purposes and benefits of signing MoUs with Ausable Institute, Michigan, Liverpool Hope University, UK, Appalachian State University, North Carolina and Rouen Business School, France. He also explored the possibility of exchange programmes among CUAC institutions within India as well as overseas.
During the Valedictory address, delivered by Rt. Rev. Dr. G. Paul Vasanthakumar, Bishop Trichy-Thanjavur Diocese and Chairman of the Bishop Heber College Governing Board, he underlined the commitment of the missionaries who gave free education to the people of India irrespective of their caste, colour or creed. “Missionaries opened education to all especially the poor and downtrodden unlike other institutions which restricted education only to the upper caste people. Even today the Christina institutions consider education as service to the poor” he said. “But India faces specific threats such as terrorism and caste/religion based politics which are impediments for the development and destroy the secular fabric of the country.” The Bishop challenged the Christian institutions to foster eco-friendly spirituality, eco-related health habits and concentrate on waste management systems in their campuses. The Bishop encouraged the participants, saying that the challenges before them are not greater than the power behind them and any distance is walkable.
Participants had the opportunity to attend sessions and engage with presenters, attend prayer services and have meals together. The Heber College Choir provided some musical accompaniment to devotional services. Photos of the event may be seen at CUACs facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cuacanglican
[Photo: From left to right: Dr.Priscilla, Principal, Goodwill Christian College, Bengaluru, Smt.Shiny Harsha, Principal, Bishop Cotton Law College, Bengaluru, Dr.Esther Samuel, Principal, Bishop Cotton Women’s Christian College, Bengaluru, Dr.D.Paul Dhayabaran, Principal, Bishop Heber College, Trichy, Dr.S.Sundar Manoharan, Vice-Chancellor, Periyar Maniammai University, Thanjavur (Chief Guest – Inauguration of CUAC India Chapter meeting), Dr. T. Rabbi Puthiran, Principal, United Mission Degree College, Bengaluru, Prof.J.Sam Christopher, Principal, Bishop Cotton Academy, Bengaluru]