First Non-state Christian Institution Inaugurated in India

( [email protected] ) Nov 14, 2003 11:32 AM EST

The first non-state Christian institution, Dharmadeepti University was recently inaugurated. The school will be built in Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh, which is the only Indian state that allows private universities.

In the nation where it is predominantly Muslims and Hindi, establishing a Christianity-based institution is not so easy. According to Vatican Radio, the project was first suggested by Ajit Jogi, the state’s Prime Minister, who is a Christian.

Biship Simon Stock Palathara of Jagdalpur said the objective of the university is to open doors for people to receive higher learning in India. He wishes everyone to gain opportunity to access “quality higher education at affordable fees.”

At the request of the Indian bishops, the Carmelites of the Blessed Immaculate Virgin Mary, a congregation founded over a century ago in India, will administer the university.

The project is expected to cost around $55 million over the next 10 years. Part of the costs will be covered by the episcopal conference.