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Meeting on Xavier’s proposal

The St. Xavier’s College authorities on Tuesday held “fruitful but inconclusive” talks with the state government on the institution’s proposal to be accorded the status of an aided minority university.

“The meeting was fruitful but inconclusive. We have asked the (higher education) department to study the proposal a little more and give their opinion. None of us wants to do this in a hurry,” college principal Father Felix Raj said after the 45-minute meeting with higher education secretary Vivek Kumar at Bikash Bhavan in Salt Lake.

Father George Ponodath, the rector of the autonomous college, accompanied the principal at the talks.

“The meeting was a follow-up to the proposal we had submitted to the government in October. We will hopefully meet again in a couple of weeks,” said Felix Raj. “We hope the government will take into account our long history and excellence.”

The 152-year-old institutions wants to be called St. Xavier’s University in its proposed avatar and an annual grant of Rs 25 crore from the state government to take care of staff salaries, among other things.

If conferred the status of a state-aided minority university, St. Xavier’s would be able to reserve up to 50 per cent of its postgraduate seats for students from minority communities.

St. Xavier’s College, despite being a Christian minority institution, receives aid from the state government. As a minority college, it can now reserve up to 50 per cent of undergraduate seats for minority students. At the last meeting on the issue with the government on November 26, the principal had said the reservation would not be restricted to any particular community.