Mother Teresa Chair at IGNOU – Clarification from the CBCI
New Delhi: October 4, 2014
It has been brought to the attention of the CBCI that, while reporting the closing down of Mother Teresa Chair in the School of Social Work of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), a section of the Press carried some factual errors, which has created confusion in the mind of many, especially the student community. Hence, CBCI would like to clarify the following points:
i.The CBCI Chair and the Mother Teresa Chair of the IGNOU are entirely two different entities.
ii.The CBCI Chair at IGNOU was established by signing an MOU on February 29, 2000, as a remembrance of the Yesu Krist Jayanti 2000 Celebrations. This MOU was revised on April 22, 2009.
iii.The CBCI Chair carries out its activities, supported by the annual interest from the endowment fund provided by the CBCI and 10 percent of the income, collected by IGNOU through the CBCI Chair programmes.
iv.The CBCI Chair has been functioning for the last 14 and a half years, benefitting thousands of students across the country, especially in the field of Social Work and Philosophy.
v.There were some administrative hurdles in the last two years and the CBCI Office-Bearers have taken up the matter with the Ministry of Human Resource Development and with the Parliamentary Committee attached to MHRD.
vi.Mother Teresa Chair in the School of Social Work at IGNOU was established on 19.11.2010, at the intervention of the then Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, complying with the request from the Mother Teresa Global Foundation to establish a Chair in any of the Central Universities to mark the Birth Centenary Celebrations of Mother Teresa.
vii.It is this Chair of Mother Teresa, along with other nine Chairs, the IGNOU has decided to close down for lack of resources and funds.
viii.As far as the management and administration of Mother Teresa Chair are concerned, the CBCI has no role to play, as it is entirely a Government of India sponsored Chair.
However, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India is taken up by surprise to know that IGNOU has decided to close down the Mother Teresa Chair, along with other nine Chairs for lack of funds. It would be in the best interest of the public that the IGNOU authorities should seek the assistance of Government of India, before taking such a drastic action. It is hoped that the Government of India which has directed the establishment of Mother Teresa Chair, would also facilitate its smooth functioning. The CBCI has already submitted a Memorandum to the Hon’ble Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Smt. Smriti Irani, to look into this matter and issue appropriate orders to the IGNOU Vice-Chancellor to ensure the continuance of Mother Teresa Chair in IGNOU.
Fr. Joseph Chinnayyan
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India