Conference 2023-Bengaluru

Don Bosco Higher Education in India (DBHEI)
Annual Conference and General Body Meeting
November 10-12, 2023


The Don Bosco Higher Education India (DBHEI) Annual Conference and General Body Meeting was held at NBCLC Bangalore from November 10-12, 2023. The conference was attended by 56 Salesians and three faculty members. This includes the president of DBHEI, Rev. Dr Fr. Januarius S. Sangma sdb the Provincial in charge, Rev. Dr. Fr P.D. Johny sdb, the vice president to DBHEI, Rev. Dr. Fr Joby Joseph sdb, National Secretary DBHEI, the executive members along with Directors, Rectors, Principals, iceprincipals and faculty from DBHEI institutions across India. The three days’ conference was to focus on the two themes of: Fostering Entrepreneurship and Start-up Culture on Campuses and Educating the Young to Social Responsibility

Day 1

The conference commenced with a Holy Mass presided over by Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore. In his homily, Archbishop Machado acknowledged the significant contributions of the Salesians in the field of higher education and urged them to continue emulating the example of the Good Samaritan by going the extra mile for the poor and the marginalized.

The inaugural session of the conference took place at 9:30 AM. Rev. Fr. Januarius S. Sangma sdb, the president of DBHEI, delivered the inaugural address, emphasizing the need to uphold the values that underpin DBHEI institutions. Rev. Fr Shalbin Kalanchery sdb, the Vice Provincial of the host province, formally welcomed all the delegates of the Annual Conference to the Salesian Province of Bangalore. Rev Fr. Dr. Johnson Ponthempilly sdb, the DBHEI National Conference Organizing Secretary, delivered the initiation address on the dynamics of the event. The video messages from Rev Dr. Biju Michael sdb, Regional of South Asia and Rev Dr Oscar Lozano, IUS Director were presented. In their message to the participants, they acknowledged the role of DBHEI in shaping the role of youth through higher education.

In his address, Fr Biju Michael sdb, called on the participants to bring into higher education the Salesian Elements and make the learning socially committed and open to entrepreneur skills in keeping with the theme of the event.

The first day’s opening session was on “Fostering Entrepreneurship and Startup Culture on Campuses” by Mr. Thejus Joseph, Interim CEO of FiiRE, Goa. Mr. Joseph encouraged DBHEI institutions to identify and nurture talented students with entrepreneurial potential. The session was followed by a group discussion and presentation on the challenges and opportunities on the theme action plans were drawn up for the way ahead. In the afternoon, the group made a visit to Viswadeep Community and Kristu Jyothi College in K R Puram and had the evening tea there. It was followed by a visit to Don Bosco College where they had an interactive session with Dr Aloysius Edward, the IQAC coordinator of Kristu Jayanthi College, Bangalore. Dr Edward presented the challenges and opportunities posed by the new education policy. This was followed by an evening where the students and faculty of the college entertained the participants with a cultural fiesta. The participants then paid visit to Don Bosco college and witnessed the A Report exhibition on Indian Knowledge System by the students. This was followed by a sumptuous dinner sponsored by the Don Bosco College.

Day 2

The second day of the conference began with the Holy Mass presided over by Rev. Dr. Jose Koyikal sdb, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Bengaluru. In his homily, Rev. Dr. Koyikal emphasized the importance of a holistic formation of young people and the need to entrust them to the care of Our Blessed Mother.

Immediately after breakfast, the delegates were on a guided campus tour to Christ Deemed to be
University, Bengaluru. The interactive sessions with Pro-Vice-Chancellor Rev. Dr. Viju Pynadath and the
Deans of different academic streams in the university broadened the vision of higher education ministry
and offered the needed framework for responding proactively to the ongoing challenges in the field. The
loyalty and attachment of the lay staff in Christ University was noteworthy. The visits to the state-of-theart auditorium and the Centre for Social Action (CSA) of the University also provided some novel ideas for revamping our institutions with a wider vision.

The afternoon session by Dr. Anil Joseph Pinto, Registrar of Christ University, focused on the theme of “Educating Our Young to Social Responsibility.” Dr. Pinto stressed the importance of instilling in students a sense of social responsibility and making our learning service oriented. The groups discussed the theme and summed up in a general presentation the action plans for the way ahead. The delegates then left to Don Bosco Provincial house Bangalore and then for a dinner sponsored by the Lingarajapuram parish community.

Day 3

The third day of the conference commenced with a Holy Mass presided over by Rev. Fr. Januarius S. Sangma sdb. In his homily, Rev. Fr. Sangma emphasized the significance of Don Bosco’s pedagogical journey of love and education. The participants came together according to provinces to discuss and draw
up province-specific action plans in keeping to the two themes of the event. This was followed by a general discussion and drawing up of common action plans for DBHEI. Fr George Mathew sdb, on behalf of Bosco Tech India presented various courses and opportunities available for skilling the youth.

In the general body meeting post lunch of DBHEI was convened and was presided over by the President, Fr Januarius S Sangma sdb, Fr Dr P D Johny sdb, Vice President to DBHEI, Fr Dr Joby Joseph sdb, Secretary, Fr Dr K O Sebastian sdb, the treasurer and the executive members Fr Dr Johnson Ponthenpilly sdb, Fr Beevan R Mukhim sdb and Joaquim Lobo sdb and attended by all the delegates. After the roll call, Rev Dr. Fr Joby Joseph sdb, the secretary of DBHEI presented the minutes of the previous AGM and was passed with minor corrections. The annual report submitted to SPCI was presented by Fr Joaquim Lobo sdb. Subsequently, Rev Dr K.O. Sebastian sdb, treasurer DBHEI, presented the financial report of the year past and was passed with clarifications. Rev Dr Johnson Ponthempilly sdb, the general coordinator, presented a report on the three days’ conference of 2023.

Action plans, both short-term and long-term presented by the secretary, were approved by the assembly (Attached as Annexure). Some additional points of discussion also came up in the AGM. Certificates of participation were distributed by the President. Rev Dr Joby Joseph sdb Secretary, DBHEI, proposed the vote of thanks. The general body was concluded and closed at 12:30 pm with a hymn to Don Bosco. The participants departed for lunch and most left to their home institutions on the same day and few in the day after.

Key Takeaways from the Conference

  • The importance of upholding the values that underpin DBHEI institutions
  • The importance of fostering entrepreneurship and start-up culture in our set ups.
  • The holistic formation of young people
  • The importance of instilling in students a sense of social responsibility and making our learning service oriented.


The Don Bosco Higher Education India Annual Conference and General Body Meeting conducted in the province of Bangalore, was a resounding success. It provided a platform for Salesians from across India to gather, share and learn their best practices in higher education, and thus to provide quality education to young people. The conference served as a catalyst for renewed commitment and with focus to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship, social responsibility, and holistic formation in their students.