All India Catholic University Federation
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The All India Catholic University Federation (AICUF) is an organisation of catholic university students. The movement was started in 1924, at St.Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli by Fr. Carty, SJ. Currently it operates in 15 states of India. The organization is affiliated to Pax-Romana, an international association of catholic professionals.
The Catholic Young Men Guild (CYMG), started by a group of college students with the guidance of Fr. P. Carty SJ at St.Joseph’s College, Trichy was an organization in the tradition of ‘Catholic Action’. The guild had the following principal aims: a) social consciousness b) informed catholic mind c) application of catholic principles to social problems Study clubs were main units for functioning. The Rally, the student magazine accompanied the guild from its inception. It was then merged with the MCYL (Malabar Catholic Youth League) that was founded by Fr. Honore SJ in 1915. CYMG was renamed as CYMF (Catholic Young Men Federation). In 1937 CYMF grew far and wide in the Southern part of India and got re-christened itself as SICUF. SICUF became AICUF in 1949 as a national level student movement and got recognised by CBCI (Catholic Bishops' Conference of India) . AICUF publishes an alternative student monthly 'THE RALLY' in English. The Rally is a mouth piece of AICUF. It delas with the current educational, social, cultural and political scenario of the country on various themes.
The AICUF membership is open to university students who share the ideals of the movement as enshrined in the constitution. However, every member state has the autonomy to decide on its own policy regarding membership.
Every member is entitled to participate in all the decision making activities of the unit. However, a member can be selected as an office-bearer only on completion of one year in the AICUF, except in the case of newly formed units.
AICUF structure is geared to ensure it mass students movement character. The AICUF functions at the national, state, regional and unit levels. The state is the primary decision making body in AICUF. The various states are linked at the national level as members of a federation.
Tamilnadu AICUF has the highest no. of units (30 Units) in the country. Rev. Fr. Paulraj SJ is the state Advisor and Prof Vimal Jerald is the State Animator.
Tamilnadu AICUF regularly conducts various Training and Development Programme for the college students. The students are exposed for work camps and exposure visits to the places where marginalised live.
At present, AICUF unit in Maharashtra exists in St Xavier’s College, Mumbai and in St. Vincent College of Commerce, Pune. The Mumbai unit was revived by Fr Roy Pereira SJ in 1998. The AICUF's vision is to sensitise students towards those at the margins and involve ourselves in the struggle for their basic rights by equipping ourselves physically, intellectually and spiritually while networking with NGOs and peoples' movements.
AICUF Maharashtra organizes various activities keeping 3 objectives in mind - Social Outreach, Personality Development and Spiritual Growth. These activities include camps, retreats, hikes, exposure visits, exhibitions, seminars, rallies and campaigns. The AICUF has taken up several social issues such as human trafficking, displacement due to Special Economic Zones etc. We also tutor underprivileged children and conduct workshops for them at the Garden School, Colaba. We organise visits to Ashadaan and St Catherine’s Home.
The Pune unit of AICUF was revived by Fr. James Selvaraj SJ in 2011 at St. Vincent (Night) College of Commerce. The unit is animated by Dr. Gilbi John. Mr. Franklin Fernandes of St. Vincent College, Pune was the National Convener of AICUF in 2012-13. St. Vincent College of Commerce hosted the National AICUF Camp in May at Social Centre, Ahmednagar.