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Church bullish on varsity

Ranchi, March 7: The Roman Catholic Church is stepping up efforts to set up a composite university in Ranchi.

The university will have a medical college along with a 500-bed hospital, a law school, undergraduate and postgraduate colleges — all on the same campus.

“Plans have been drawn up and search is on for land. Though the state government has promised us full support once we identify the land, we are on the look-out for a huge plot, around 300 acres, which will not only satisfy our current requirements, but will also take care of our future expansion plans,” Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo told The Telegraph.

The cardinal pointed out that he intended to give a final shape to his dream project before he turns 75, the mandatory retirement age for archbishops as decreed by the Vatican.

Toppo, both an archbishop and a cardinal, is 70 at present. Though as a cardinal, he could continue to be in service to the church till he attains 80 years of age, Toppo wants his pet project to get off the ground by the time he is 75.

The cardinal added that the week-long diocesan synod that was held from February 7 to February 12 last month, the first such congregation organised by the Roman Catholic Church in Jharkhand, has already granted its approval for setting up the composite university.

According to insiders, a hunt for land has been started along National Highway 33, which connects Tata with Ranchi as well as the adjoining area, where Ranchi ring road is coming up.

They added that though the state government has assured the church of its co-operation, it has asked the authority to first identify suitable land for the purpose.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Toppo added that one of the important resolutions that were adopted by the diocesan synod last month was to improve the status of the family. He said as the family formed the nucleus of the society, it needed to be protected and nurtured so that the offsprings turned out to be better citizens. “For this, the church will consider setting up special family cells in each of its parishes across the state,” Toppo said.

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