The following article was written by Fr. P.C. Anto, a 2008 graduate of MPI.
North East Institute of Social Sciences and Research (NEISSR), the first MSW College in Nagaland initiated by the Catholic Church and affiliated to Nagaland University, was officially inaugurated on 8th October 2014 at Christ Hall of Holy Cross Higher Secondary School Campus, Dimapur, Nagaland. The first MSW College started its journey on 1st August’2014 with 45 students from different districts of Nagaland with a mission to contribute in building a new social order based on human dignity and social justice. Work with a preferential option for the vulnerable and exploited. Build a cadre of young professionals having a global perspective and a strong value based on compassion, personal integrity, moderation, tolerance and self-respect. Currently, the college is offering specialization on Youth Development, Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies and Community Development.
The inauguration programme of NEISSR witnessed the presence of Shri. Deo Nukhu, Parliamentary Secretary, Higher Education, Government of Nagaland, as a chief guest for the occasion. The guest of honour for the occasion was Prof. B. K. Konwar, Vice Chancellor of Nagaland University, along with special guest Prof. Lanunungsang Ao, Pro-vice Chancellor, Merima campus, Nagaland University. The Bishop of Nagaland and Chairman of NEISSR Most. Rev. Dr. James Thoppil would also graced the occasion.
The chief guest Shri. Deo Nikhu in his speech asserted that out of all resources on earth, human resource development was the most important and added that such courses with specialization inpeace and conflict would benefit the society. Further, he suggested that the college should undertake research activities and conduct seminar in different districts of Nagaland in order to educate people on the importance of peace in the society. He was hopeful that the product of “products” of the NEISSR’s Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies would one day, come to “transform our society” while alluding to the biblical prophecy that “Peacemakers” would also “inherit the kingdom of God”.
The guest of honor B. K. Konwar expressed hope that the institution would pave way for a fruitful society in Nagaland and other parts of the country. He encouraged the institute to benefit the society through its courses on different topics and at same time he also stated that students have to be given lots of oppertuniteis to do research on different social issues to bring lasting solutions to the challenges faced by the youth today.
On the occasion, NEISSR’s chairman and Bishop of Nagaland Most. Rev. Dr. James Thoppil also said that peace and harmony, conflict transformation, youth development and well organised community development was the need of the hour. The MSW program we began is not another duplication of another MSW college, but it is a need based and hope filled program. When I say it is need based, it means the three streams of courses offered are most felt need in Nagaland. The biggest challenge today in Nagaland is to foster and maintain peace and harmony among all sections of society. We need people who are committed to preserve and promote peace. Therefore one segment of the study is about peace and conflict transformation.
Youth development is another challenge facing us in Nagaland. The teeming youth force is getting frustrated with the prevailing situations in our state and in our country and channelizing and utilizing their resource and talents are a big challenge on any nation. Hopefully the course offered will give insight and promote youth development to guide Nagaland to a better and brighter future.
There can be no lasting peace and conflict transformation and progressive and qualitative youth development without well organized Community Development. Any good program or endeavor can succeed and stand the test of time only if they are community based and community oriented. Hence the relevance of the third course offered in the college, namely, the community development. I am sure that a balance and well integrated approach to these areas will bring about qualitative change and bright future for Nagaland. That is why I said, the program is need based and hope filled. Hopefully we will be able to add more courses and streams to augment the quality of education imparted in the college in the future.
I do hope and pray that the program offered in this college will not produce merely another group of professional NGO’s who has a degree but rather people who are committed to work for the welfare and development of the society and the people. It implies and calls for personal commitment and transformation based and fostered on the Christian principles and values of the Gospel. I am sure that the MSW program will help in this process and go a long way to help the students and people of Nagaland for better future.
The principal of NEISSR, Rev. Fr. C. P. Anto, while addressing the gathering briefly highlighted the journey of NEISSR from the inception of concept to the birth of first MSW college in Nagaland. He said that the journey might not been a successful one without the grace of God, and precious cooperation received from various corners. He thanked the Government of Nagaland from the district level to the state, then with grateful heart we remembered the director and directorate of Hr. Education Govt. of Nagaland, honourable vice-chancellor, pro-vice-chancellors and other faculties and professors who visited our institute time to time from Nagaland University, well wishers, the staff of NEISSR, Universities from Abroad etc., In his welcome address, he highlighted the relevance and scope of MSW course in the context Nagaland and other North Eastern states.