Q: The National Commission for Minorities has called for the establishment of government funded Universities. Should there be government funded Universities in the name of religions? What is the purpose of the government having separate Universities for separate religions? Is it an attempt to divide people on religious grounds?
A: In India, religious division is already existing. Universities in the name of religion is not something new; we already have them. We have the Aligarh Muslim University and the Banaras Hindu University. May be the government wants to have something like that for the Christians too. But all these Universities admit students of all religions although they may have some preference for one particular religion. I don’t know what the details of the policy are. Though we have Christian Universities like Don Bosco, Xaviers and Christ University, they are deemed universities that do not give any fee con-cession. They maintain good quality, but ordinary students can’t afford them. They are self-financed institutions and so do not accept financial aid from the government. But if we have a Christian University under the government, its fees will be affordable. What we could expect perhaps is a certain preference or so-me percentage of reservation for Christians in such a university. If that be the case, then it will be of some help to the Christian community. India has about 27 million Christians of whom 60% are poor Dalits and tribals. They will get an opportunity for better education.
Bp Chacko Thottumarickal