St. Xavier's College, Kolkata has started a rural campus at Raghapur, 20km from its Mother Teresa Sarani (City) campus, in Bishnupur constituency of South 24-Parganas, West Bengal
The decision was taken in the last governing body meeting in April. The building with 15,000sqft is ready with all infrastructure facilities like classrooms, library, computer lab, offices, canteen etc. Classes begin from this academic session. The medium of instruction will be Bengali.
The online application process began on June 4 and the admission process was completed by June 30.
A computer lab with experts has been set up to facilitate local students on the Raghapur campus.
Three courses are introduced this year - B.Com Honours, Bengali Honours and BA General - with an intake of 60 seats each. New courses will be added every year, according to local need.
Father Felix Raj, the college principal, said the Raghapur campus is the "rural image" of St. Xavier's College and it is a bold step taken by the Calcutta Jesuits keeping in mind the "option for the poor" policy.
"We decided to go to rural students who need our service most. Our initiative has been welcomed by all, particularly the local people. It is our additional service, besides our St. Paul's Bengali-medium High School which has been running for the last 126 years in Raghapur," said the principal. The inauguration of the new session was held on July 7 following a two-day orientation for all students on July 5 and 6. "I am in touch with the Chief Minister to fix a date according to her convenience for a public and grand inauguration of the SXC Raghapur campus sometime in July," said Father Felix Raj. "I have requested the state government for three substantive posts and I am confident the department of higher education will facilitate our educational service with its support. We do not want to make the campus in self-financing mode, which will not serve the purpose. I look forward to the government's response," he added.
What about faculty? "Our teachers on the main campus are supportive of the move and are ready and willing to teach on the Raghapur campus. We are recruiting new teachers for the campus. We are also setting up a virtual classroom with all facilities for Raghapur campus students to follow lectures delivered on the City campus," said the principal.