Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that minority education institutions were playing a vital role in imparting good education and they were not meant for inciting riots. “Our minority institutions are playing an important role in spreading good education. All our Christian missionary schools, colleges and universities are giving good lessons. Organisations like the Ramakrishna Mission, they are giving good lessons. There are so many organisations like these which are not for (inciting) danga (riot). They are meant for development and education,” Mamata said at the inauguration of the first academic session of St Xavier’s University’s New Town campus. She also inaugurated the Lakshmi and Usha Mittal Foundation Building in the campus in the presence of steel magnate L N Mittal and wife Usha.
Lauding the Jesuit fraternity for setting up St Xavier’s University, Mamata said, “I maintain best relations with St Xavier’s. Seventeen acres of land had been allotted to the university. It is a proud moment for the Xaverian family. We are ready to help Xavier’s more than what it can expect. I am confident the university will compete with the likes of Harvard and Oxford Universities in the next few years.”
The St Xavier’s University Kolkata Bill was passed in the state Legislative Assembly on December 15, 2016. On January 16, Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi gave his assent to the bill. As per PTI, chairman and CEO of Arcelor Mittal, world’s largest steel company, L N Mittal, who is an alumnus of St Xavier’s College, said, “On behalf of vice-chancellor Felix Raj, I requested the CM for more land. Banerjee said that she is an honourary Xaverian.”
Mittal recalled how he was refused admission to the college as he did not speak English at that time. “I left St Xavier’s 48 years ago but I remember my time clearly. I wanted a great education. Some of you may be aware that I had to work hard to persuade the then Principal to let me in. He had reasons to say no. Mainly that I didn’t speak English and all lessons were imparted in English,” Mittal said.
“I managed to convince him. I don’t know what changed his mind, may be he was fed up of seeing me knocking on his door every day. I was absolutely determined to make the most of the opportunity. The opportunity and perhaps the challenge started at St Xavier’s,” he added. Mittal had graduated from the college with first class in BCom. He also highlighted how the institution shaped his confidence to take bold decisions. “I moved to Indonesia in 1976. That was a huge decision back then to leave home, family and live in a foreign country. I really believe that without my time at St Xavier’s, I may not have taken that decision,” Mittal said.
“Today Arcelor Mittal has 200,000 employees and operates in 60 countries. Life in steel industry has often not been easy. Given the size and scale of the company today, my leadership team is very important to me,” he added.