Assam Don Bosco University won the prestigious “Excellence in Institutional Social Responsibility Award”, awarded by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) at the 7th FICCI Higher Education Excellence award ceremony, on February 25, 2021.
The University has embedded social responsibility and community outreach into its educational processes. It has also introduced Service Learning, which aims to take their educational objective to a higher level.
“Service-Learning is a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development. It is a method that links the classroom with the field,” the University shared about its Community Engagement Programme. The programme was institutionalised in 2020 but had been in practice since 2008.
The University also shared how it undertook the programme to fulfil its vision: “To mould young persons into intellectually competent, morally upright, socially committed and spiritually inspired citizens at the service of India and the world of today and tomorrow.”
The Community Engagement programme aims to develop socially committed graduates who are socially conscious, aware, sensitive and active. They should be committed and accountable agents of social good, and committed to bettering societal structures and institutions so that social justice is ensured and the dignity and worth of all sections of society are upheld.
The Community Engagement Programme is carried out in and around Azara village, Joypur village, and a few other villages under the Kamarkuchi Goan Panchayat, and the Barkhat Goan Panchayat. This social initiative has been enthusiastically carried forward by the faculty, staff and students, with dedicated support from the administration.
Adding seriousness to the programme is a two-credit Service Learning course offered by every department to their students. The Community Engagement Programme has a minimum of 180 hours of Service Component for 2-year programmes, 200 minimum hours for 3-year programmes, and 300 minimum hours for 4-year programmes. The faculty was given orientation and training for conducting this course in a three-day Faculty Development Programme in January 2020.
Apart from the aforementioned prestigious award, Assam Don Bosco University has also been honoured with an Appreciation Certificate from the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Assam, in recognition of the University’s contribution during the COVID-19 pandemic. The University was also one of the five winners at the ‘Unnati ki Kahani Chitro ki Jubani’, and a winner of the 7th eNabling North East Award 2019-2020, in the category for Health, Sanitation and Well Being.
At the international level, the University was declared as the winner of the “Engaged University of the Year 2020 Asia Pacific (Entrepreneurship and Engagement Excellence)” award on January 10, 2020, by the Accreditation Council for Entrepreneurial & Engaged Universities (ACEEU), Science Park, Netherlands.
Fr. Stephen Mavely, the University’s founding vice-chancellor, commented on the achievements saying, “We work with the most vulnerable and the marginalised sections of the society and the action of lending voice to the most vulnerable constituencies of our society is inbuilt in all our projects. Much of our resources in the initial stages of the project are invested in creating a shared vision and ownership through a participatory process. We work towards the change we wish to see.”