Xavier Ratna for Jesuit Fr. Felix Raj

By Partha Roy

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NOTED educationist and activist Jesuit Fr. Felix Raj, SJ, Vice-Chancellor of St. Xavier’s University in Kolkata, has been honoured with Xavier Ratna Award by the Xavier Institute of Engineering, Mumbai, for his notable contribution to the field of education. John Felix Raj, S.J. (born 1954) was principal and former rector of St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. He also serves as a Professor of Economics in this institution. His specialization includes development economics, liberalization, privatization and globalization, public sector, disinvestment, spirituality, leadership skills and training. He received Ph.D. degree in Economics from Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata. He is currently the vice-president of Bengal Economic Association. Raj has presented papers in many national and international conferences. He has lectured in many universities in Europe, the U.S. and Canada. He is an educationist, associated with a number of NGOs and engaged in many philanthropic activities. Parivartan.Under Fr. Felix Raj’s committed leadership and democratic governance, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata have secured the highest score of 3.77 CGPA out of 4 in the NAAC accreditation declared on January 24, 2017. He is the recipient of Siksha Ratna Award by the Government of West Bengal, Bibhushan Award by the government of West Bengal, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad Memorial Award by West Bengal Board of Madrasa Education in 2013, Lifetime Achievement Award by Core Sector Communiqué in 2011Mahdeolal Saraogi Award by Rotary Club of Kolkata, Mother Teresa Millennium Award by Mother Teresa’s International and Millennium Awards Committee in 2006. Fr. John Rose, SJ, the Director of the Institute gave away the award on behalf of the institute and the Jesuit Province of Mumbai.180 students graduated this year from the Jesuit Institute. Fr. Felix Raj advised the graduating students to live up to the values of a Xavierite carrying with them the Ignition spirit of majis wherever they go. He reminded the students that ‘Life out in the world is not cosy outside your classrooms. Life is full of thorns. Whether you go seeking jobs or climb the ladder of higher studies be bold and face it all with courage and determination‘’, he added. ‘Think global and act locally. Let your thoughts are positive and big and your actions real and concrete. Success will come after you if you vibrate positivity in all you do”, he added. ‘As this Xavier institute is proud of you and has formed you as men and women for others, you also must be proud of your alma mater and come back to express your belongingness and loyalty, whenever possible’ he said. Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, Veeresh Prabhu, Dr. Frank Trocki former Chancellor of Montana State University, Northern, USA and Dr. Y.D. Venkatesh, Principal of the College attended the Convocation ceremony. Xavier Ratna is usually presented to illustrious Jesuit alumni in Maharashtra. Earlier recipients of Xavier Ratna are former CM and Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee President Ashok Chavan, Chairman of Godrej Group, Adi Godrej, Non-Executive Chairman of HDFC, Deepak Parekh, and legendary Cricketer, Sunil Gavaskar.

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