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Mamata Banerjee confers the Nihil Ultra Award to Sanjiv Goenka at the fifth convocation ceremony of the college

St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta, is buzzing with activity as students, teachers and alumni get ready for three of the biggest events on campus.

l-action January on the Park Street campus starts off with the sixth convocation and valedictory function on the 16th, the 153rd foundation day of St. Xavier’s. Suranjan Das, the vice chancellor of Calcutta University, will confer degrees on 1,865 undergraduate, postgraduate and B.Ed students. The chief guest for the occasion will be Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, one of the three cardinals in India.

The prestigious Nihil Ultra Award, given to alumni who have made a significant contribution to society in general and also to their alma mater, will be conferred upon advocate and solicitor R.N. Jhunjhunwala of the 1960 batch.

“I want to appeal to Xaverians who have passed out to come in large numbers to attend the programme,” said Father Felix Raj, the principal of the college.

After the convocation, the present students of the college will take over with their annual cultural fest, Xavotsav, organised by the St. Xavier’s College Students’ Union in association with The Telegraph. The three-day extravaganza, to be held on campus from January 17 to 19, will see colleges from across the country pitted against each other in a test of creativity, stamina, intelligence, team spirit and more.

Sonu Nigam is the star attraction at Beyond Barriers XIII

The most fiercely contested events include the fashion show, Bollywood dance and Western music. For those wanting to sharpen their tongues, there is the debate and the mock parliament. With quizzes, business plan competitions, face-painting, cartoons and sports, there is something for everyone.

“The theme of Xavotsav this year is ‘ascension’. It is about rising from the ashes, it is about letting your dreams take flight,” said Rohit Thapar, the general secretary of the students’ union.

The pro-nights promise quite a double bill. On January 18, Hard Kaur will make the audience “move their body” to her songs and on January 19 it will be DJ Akash’s turn to pump up the tempo.

The month’s festivities come to a close with Beyond Barriers XIII, the flagship fund-raising event organised by the St. Xavier’s College Calcutta Alumni Association (SXCCAA), in association with The Telegraph, on January 24. The event has earlier played host to singers like Kailash Kher, Remo Fernandes, Mika and Javed Ali.

Chapter XIII of Beyond Barriers will see Bollywood’s singing superstar Sonu Nigam belt out chartbusters.

As always, the surplus generated from the event will be given to the college for its expansion project.

“This will be part of the Lakshya project that was launched in Singapore last April. We have already raised more than Rs 2.5 crore for the project,” said Firdausal Hasan, honorary secretary, SXCCAA.