XISS in an interactive session with US Consul General Melinda Pavek

Xavier Institute of Social Service (XISS), Ranchi hosted an interactive session with United States (U.S.) Consul General, Kolkata, Ms. Melinda M. Pavek on its campus. She was accompanied by U.S. Consul General in Kolkata Associate Political/Economic Officer Travis Coberly, Economic Specialist Sangeeta De Chanda, Media Specialist Deepa Dutta and Foreign Service National Investigator Abhijit Sharma.

Dr Joseph Marianus Kujur SJ, Director, XISS Ranchi, welcomed the august gathering and thanked Ms Melinda for choosing XISS for this interactive session. Recalling the humble beginning of the Institute in 1955 and basic component of Social Service as its motto, he shed light on the core orientation and vision and mission which runs throughout. He explained the Institute’s role in the field of education and social sector.

Dr Kujur highlighted the interventions done at State and district level during the COVID-19 adversity by the Institute and that through project proposals developed here at XISS since 2010, we put focus on several tribal issues alongside management issues like displacement, migration, livelihood concerns, climate change, peace and reconciliation. He also mentioned his book named Religion, Conversion and Identity highlights this issue in-depth as well.

Discussing the future plans of XISS,  he said that we look forward to collaboration in future with the US Consulate. He further said that XISS plans on expanding into a University soon, and the groundwork is underway. The University will be inclusive of XISS, Xavier Institute of Polytechnic and Technology (XIPT) and other technical institutes from the field of Nursing, Agriculture, Centre for Dialogue, Centre for Research Studies etc. He mentioned the plan of moving forward in future keeping our focus on Vision 2025 which ensures academic rigour, industry interface, alumni relations and Institute and student-led activities.

In the session, Ms. Melinda discussed elaborately on her purpose of visit to learn and engage with academicians and promote Indo-US relations. She said that education is where we start countering the misinformation with information, by teaching students logical thought processes and ways to research, identify their own biases, ways to approach their and others cultural norms through curiosity helping them become socially aware professionals.

While elaborating on the purpose of here visit, she said that by fulfilling these objectives, we bring different groups together, find commonalities, uniqueness and build together a society for all. Both India and United States have realized that we can either go in the positive or negative direction with the technology that we have. The focus should be on ‘We’, the People, ‘We’, the Nation, ‘We’, the allies and the direction that we want to go together which is good for the greater good.

Meanwhile, the interactive session also shed light on the Indo-US academic relations, future prospects of XISS students pursuing higher education in US through collaborative projects, exploring opportunities for cross disciplinary learning, cultural exchange programs and easier VISA process.

Dr Pradeep Kerketta SJ, Assistant Director gave the vote of thanks, and also shared his views and said that XISS looks forward in collaborating with the Consul General for exploring academic opportunities for students. The interactive session was also attended by Dr Amar Eron Tigga, Dean Academics; Fr Francis David Kullu, Finance Officer; Dr Himadri Sinha, Dr Ramakant Agarwal, Dr Pinaki Ghosh, Dr Arup Mukherjee, Dr Mahua Banerjee, Head of Programmes of Rural Management, Human Resource Management, Marketing Management, Financial Management and Information Technology Management respectively and Dr Anant Kumar, Fulbright Alumni and Associate Professor.