Felix Raj

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Father Felix Raj, SJ
Fr. Felix Raj in his office.jpg
Principal, St. Xavier's College, Kolkata
Rector: 1996–2002
Director GILRS: 1996–present
Vice Principal: 1997–2009
Principal: 2009–present

John Felix Raj, S.J. (born 1954) is the principal and former rector of St. Xavier's College, Kolkata and the current Vice-Chancellor of St. Xavier's University, Kolkata. He also serves as a Professor of Economics in this institution. His specialization includes development economics, liberalization, privatization and globalization, public sector, disinvestment, spirituality, leadership skills and training. He received Ph.D. degree in Economics from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. He is currently the vice-president of Bengal Economic Association.

Raj has presented papers in many national and international conferences. Raj has lectured in many universities in Europe, U.S. and Canada. He is an educationist, associated with a number of NGOs and engaged in many philanthropic activities. Parivartan and Snegam, NGOs engaged in social and educational activities are his brainchildren. His initiative, "College to Village and Village to College" at St. Xavier's College, is a novel effort in education.[1]

He is the director of The Goethals Indian Library and Research Society and the West Bengal state advisor to All Indian Catholic University Federation.

Fr. Felix Raj was appointed member of the West Bengal Education Commission by the Governor of West Bengal to prepare a Road Map / Vision Document for 2020 and 2030 for the state's education sector since 1 October 2013.[2]

In the year 2015, Father Raj has initiated two educational projects:, a campus of St. Xavier's College at St. Lawrence Higher Secondary School premises inaugurated 4 July 2015[3] and a new St. Xavier's College in Asansol inaugurated on 25 July 2015.[4]

Under Fr. Felix Raj’s committed leadership and democratic governance, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata has secured the highest score of 3.77 CGPA out of 4 in the NAAC accreditation declared on January 24, 2017. [5]

Father Felix Raj, SJ, the principal of St. Xavier's College, Kolkata has taken over as the first Vice-Chancellor of St. Xavier's University, Kolkata with effect from February 16, 2017. The Act for setting up the university, which is operational from February 8, the date of notification by the Government of West Bengal, was unanimously passed by the Assembly on December 15. Governor K.N. Tripathi gave his consent to the bill on January 16. [6]

He is the recipient of:

  • Siksha Ratna Award by the Government of West Bengal on 5 September 2016 [7]
  • Banga Bibhushan Award by the government of West Bengal in 2014[8]
  • Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad Memorial Award by West Bengal Board of Madrasa Education in 2013[9]
  • Lifetime Achievement Award by Core Sector Communiqué in 2011[10]
  • Mahdeolal Saraogi Award by Rotary Club of Kolkata in 2008[11]
  • First CAB Community Development Award by Catholic Association of Bengal in 2008[12]
  • Mother Teresa Millennium Award by Mother Teresa's International and Millennium Awards Committee in 2006[13]

Early life[edit]

Born in 1954 in Poolangudi, Ramnad District, Tamil Nadu, to Mr. S. A. Susai and Mrs Kitheri Susai, both teachers, Raj had early exposure to education as virture and vocation. He had his schooling at St. Michael's School, Sengudi and completed high school at St. Mary's Tuticorin (Thuthugudi), South India. He was School Pupils Leader (SPL) at St. Mary's. After his Pre University Studies in St. Joseph's College Trichy, he joined the Calcutta Province of the Society of Jesus, an International Religious Order in 1973. He went through his early Jesuit formation of Novitiate and Juniorate at Xavier Teacher Training Institute, Patna for three years.

Raj graduated with Economics from Loyola College, Chennai in 1980. During his studies at Chennai, he involved himself in the activities of All India Catholic University Federation, a University Student Movement. He represented the AICUF in the Conference of Asian Catholic Students Federation held in Penang in 1979. He has been in this University Student Movement for more than 35 years. In 1989 he took over as the West Bengal State Adviser to the AICUF.

Raj completed his Masters in Economics at St. Joseph's College, Trichy in 1982. He secured the first rank and was awarded a gold medal. He completed his Philosophy studies from Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth (JDV), Pune in 1984 and joined the Department of Economics, St. Xavier's College, Kolkata as faculty. After two years, Raj studied a three-year Theology course from Vidya Jothi College, Delhi in 1989 and was ordained as a priest in Trichy on 23 April 1989. He rejoined the economics faculty of St. Xavier's College, Kolkata in 1989. He belongs to the Calcutta Province of the Society of Jesus and resides at the Jesuit Community in Mother Teresa Sarani, Kolkata.

Raj is fluent in Tamil, Bengali, Hindi and English.


St. Xavier's College[edit]

Fr. J Felix Raj with Mother Teresa in 1994

Raj returned to St. Xavier's College, Kolkata in 1989 as Professor of Economics. He was appointed Rector of St. Xavier's in 1996. Raj served in that position for six years, then took over as Vice-Principal of the Commerce Department of the College in 1997 and held the position for twelve years. In 2009, he was appointed Principal of the College.

Raj took over as Principal and Secretary of St. Xavier's College on 2 February 2009, the Sesquicentenary year of the College.[14] In 2011 St. Xavier's was accredited as the Autonomous College in 2011 and was awarded a score of 3.53 out of 4. The College successfully underwent its autonomy review in 2012. Felix Raj has initiated the expansion of the College academically and physically. The State Government of West Bengal has allotted to St. Xavier's College 16.64 acres of land in Rajarhat for a third campus.[15]

Other contributions[edit]

All India Catholic University Federation

Dr. Raj joined the All India Catholic University Federation in 1977 while studying at Loyola College, Madras and has been associated with it since. Raj took over as the State Adviser to Bengal AICUF unit in 1989 and stirred up the spirit and revitalised the movement.

The Goethals Indian Library and Research Society

As the Director of the The Goethals Indian Library and Research Society, since 1996, Raj undertook a major renovation to help the users, he modernized the facilities. The library contains a collection of 18,663 volumes of books and periodicals. About 50 manuscripts of the Bengal Mission historian, Fr. H. Hosten, are stored, besides a few of Fr. W. Wallace and the pioneering educationist, Brahmabandhav Upadhyay. It has now been designated as a Research and Reference Centre.

Bengal Economic Association

Raj joined the Bengal Economic Association in 2002, and was its secretary from 2005 to 2011, and its vice-president from 2011.

Snegam Social Welfare and Resource Society

In 2005, Raj and a group of his former students created an NGO, called Snegam Social Welfare & Resource Society, whose mission was to promote quality education and bring about an educational revolution. Its seven centres, three of which situated in the urban slums and four in villages. In India, where 100 million children do not go to school, Snegam has directly benefitted almost 1000 children, and provided financial assistance to economically challenged students in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.

Prayas – College to Village and Village to College[16]

Raj initiated Prayas in January 2006. Prayas directs the college, with its management, faculty and students to work together to bring education to villages. College students go to the villages and work with the children; they conduct classes and extracurricular activities, surveys, camps etc. They also provide financial assistance to the very needy children to continue their education. This Project was awarded the Dr. P.S. Job Memorial Award for the most Innovative Educational effort for the year 2010–11 by AIACHE (All India Association for Christian Higher Education).

Jericho Centre for the Blind and Handicapped, Trichy, Tamil Nadu

Raj, SJ is the president of the Centre, which runs the St. Joseph's higher secondary school with 1100 students in Nagamangalam, 12 km from Trichy on Trichy–Madurai road.

Book publications[edit]

Fr. Felix Raj and Fr. Dominic Savio With the President of India

Dr. Raj has authored and co-authored six books and has written numerous articles in journals, magazine and newspapers.

  1. Relevance of Christianity in India Today (ed.), (1986) Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune.
  2. Memories of a Movement – AICUF in West Bengal 1948–1996, (1996) AICUF Publications, Kolkata.
  3. Contemporary Development Economics from Adam Smith to Amartya Sen, (Felix Raj & others), (2006) New Central Book Agency Pvt. Ltd., Kolkata, 2006.[17]
  4. Indian Economy – Economic Ideas, Development and Financial Reforms – Essays in honour of Prof. Raj Kumar Sen, (ed.), (2008), Deep and Deep Publications, New Delhi.[18]
  5. WTO and Asian Union – Ten Years of WTO, (ed.) (2009), Deep and Deep Publications, New Delhi.
  6. Disinvestment in India – Trends, Problems and Prospects, (2012), Regal Publishers, New Delhi.[19]
  7. Discovery of Bengal: The Jesuit Design, (2014), The Goethals Indian Library and Research Society.[20]
  8. Indian Economy – A Visionary Perspective, (ed.) (2015), Regal Publishers, New Delhi.[21]
  9. Emerging Issues on Inclusive Growth, Business and Environment, (ed.) (2016), Regal Publishers, New Delhi.[22]

Article Publications[edit]

Fr. Felix Raj Blessing Asha Bhosle
  1. (1984) "Teilhard de Chardin", Bhavan's Journal, Bombay, 16 July
  2. (1988) "Robert Antoine – The Indologist", in Jesuit Contribution to India, Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, Anand
  3. (2000) "Challenges to Change – Educational System", cover page article, Indian Currents, New Delhi, 3 September
  4. (2000) "Studying India: Education in a Global Village", The Statesman, 10 September, Kolkata
  5. (2001) "Jesuit Education", The Statesman, 31 July, Kolkata
  6. (2003) "Plight of Tribals – I & II", The Statesman, 9 & 10 July 2003, Kolkata
  7. (2004) "Thiruvalluvar, His ideas on Economics and their Relevance Today", Vidyajyothi, August 2004, Delhi
  8. (2004) "Globalization and its impact on Tribals in India", Xavier Research Journal, Ranchi, St. Xavier's College, Ranchi
  9. (2004) "Disinvestments and Unemployment", Artha Beekshan, Vol. 13, No. 3, December 2004
  10. (2004) "Liberazione e Partecipazione – Ripensare percorsi di crescita per il Terzo" Mondo Orientamenti No 3, pp 44–57, Milan
  11. (2005) "Economic Ideas in the Arthasastra and their Relevance today", Vidyjothi Journal, Vol. 69, No. 7, July 2005, Delhi pp. 514–522
  12. (2005) "A Mantra for Development" (Cover Story article), Indian Currents, 2 October and 9 October 2005, New Delhi
  13. (2005) "Neo-Liberalism, Globalization and Developing Economies – the Issue of Trust and Honesty", Artha Beekshan, September 2005, Kolkata pp. 1–28
  14. (2005) "Brahmabandhab Upadhyay – A Forgotten Prophet", Indian Currents, Delhi, 21 August
  15. (2005) "Jesuit Mission I – a Puzzle and a Model", and "Jesuit Mission II – Wholehearted Response to Multicultural Realities", The Statesman, 17–18 August, Kolkata
  16. (2006) "Kautilya and Thiruvalluvar: Economic Ideas", Chapter 8 in Economics in Arthasastra (Ed.) Sen Raj Kumar and Basu Ratan Lal, Deep and Deep Publishers, New Delhi, pp. 116 – 141
  17. (2006) "Bali–India Trade: Modern and Future perspectives", Chapter 2 in Growth, Development and Poverty Alleviation in the Asia-Pacific (Readings in World Development) edited by Kartik C. Roy (The University of Queensland, Australia) and Srikanta Chatterjee (Massey University, New Zealand), 2006
  18. (2007) "Global Realities and Radical Spirituality", Bulletin of the R.K. Mission Institute of Culture, January 2007, pp. 18–23
  19. (2007) "Bali – India Trade: Modern and Future Perspectives", Chapter 2 in Readings in World Development: Growth, Development and Poverty Allieviation in the Asia – Pacific (Ed. By Roy Kartick and Chatterjee Sri Kanta), Nova Publishers, 2007, pp. 7–14
  20. (2008) "Asia is One" – The Statesman, Kolkata, 18 March 2008
  21. (2008) "SEZs: Broken Promises in West Bengal", Social Action, Vol. 58, July–September 2008, ISI, New Delhi, pp. 283–293
  22. (2008) "Economic Reforms and Disinvestments of Public Sector Enterprises in India", Chapter 6 in Indian Economy – Economic Ideas, Development and Financial Reforms, (ed.) Raj J Felix, Deep & Deep Publications, Delhi 2008, pp. 68–100
  23. (2008) "The Core of Spirituality", Indian Currents, Delhi, 30 March – 6 April
  24. (2009) "WTO and Asia", Chapter 59 in WTO and Asian Union – Ten Years of WTO by Sen Raj Kumar and Raj John Felix (Ed.), Deep and Deep Publishers, Delhi, pp. 654–668
  25. (2010) "West Bengal at the Crossroads", Chapter 47 in Modern Indian Economy – Essays in Memory of Professor Alak Ghosh by Sen Raj Kumar (Ed.), Deep and Deep Publishers, Delhi, 2010, pp. 667–674
  26. (2010) "The Economic Ideas of Thiruvalluvar" and "The Economic Ideas of Arthasastra" are recommended as study/reference materials in Northern University of Illinois
  27. (2012) "Indian Economy at the Crossroads", Guest Editorial in Vidyajothi Journal of Theology, Vol. 76, 2 February 2012, Delhi
  28. (2012) "More Reforms, Less Jobs", Indian Currents, 5–11 November, New Delhi
  29. (2013) "Towards Inclusive Growth – I : Distorted Development", Indian Currents, 14–20 October, New Delhi
  30. (2013) "Towards Inclusive Growth – II : Distorted Development", Indian Currents, 21–27 October, New Delhi
  31. (2014) "Empirical Evidence on the Relationship Between Stock Market Development and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Exploration in Asia", Chapter 23 in Analytical Issues in Trade, Development and Finance by Ambar Nath Ghosh and Asim Karmakar (Ed.), Springer, 2014 [23]
  32. (2014) "Rethinking Development as Liberation", (R.N. Sen Memorial Lecture), Artha Beekshan, Vol. 22, No. 4, March [24]
  33. (2014) "Inclusive Growth and Human Development", in Inclusive Development – An Indian Theological Response (ed), Indian Theological Association, Bangalore [25]
  34. (2015) "A Quest for Value-based Inclusive Growth", Artha Beekshan, Vol. 25, Issue 1, February [26]
  35. (2016) "Revisiting India's Economic Reform", Indian Currents, 18–24 July, New Delhi[27]
  36. (2016) "A Time To Reflect", Indian Currents, 05–11 September, New Delhi[28]
  37. (2016) "Her Healing Touch", The Indian Express, 2 September[29]

Photo Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ PRAYAS Webpage
  2. ^ Vivek Kumar (8 November 2013). "Education Commission of West Bengal – Revised" (Press release). West Bengal Government. 
  3. ^ "Xavier's adds BCom seats". The Telegraph. 11 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Xavier's college in Asansol". 15 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "St Xavier’s scores big in NAAC test". Times of India. 25 January 2017. 
  6. ^ "St. Xavier's University gets Vice-Chancellor". 
  7. ^ "Bengal gives Siksha Ratna awards on Teachers Day". India Today. 5 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "State government to confer Banga awards on May 20". The Hindu. 18 May 2014. 
  9. ^ Zaidul Haque (12 November 2013). "WB State Madrasa Board gives Maulana Azad and Rokeya awards". TwoCircles.net. 
  10. ^ Core Sector Communiqué Website
  11. ^ Bulletin of the Rotary Club of Calcutta
  12. ^ We Xaverians
  13. ^ Fordham University, New York Webpage
  14. ^ Principal's Report, 2011
  15. ^ Principal's Report 2012, Xavierian 2013 Archived 9 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ Youtube Documentary on Prayas
  17. ^ New Central Book Agency (P) Ltd. Website
  18. ^ Deep & Deep Publications Pvt. Ltd
  19. ^ Regal Publications Website
  20. ^ "Anthology on Jesuit Fathers' contribution". The Telegraph. 29 December 2014. 
  21. ^ "Focus on economy". The Telegraph. 29 June 2015. 
  22. ^ {{Regal Website |url=http://regalpublications.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1075&type=Title&filter_name=Emerging+issues+on+inclusive+growth%2C+business+and+environment}}
  23. ^ http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-81-322-1650-6_23#page-1
  24. ^ http://goethals.in/FelixRajPublications.htm
  25. ^ http://goethals.in/FelixRajPublications.htm
  26. ^ http://goethals.in/FelixRajPublications.htm
  27. ^ http://indiancurrents.org/revisiting-indias-economic-reforms-1249.php
  28. ^ http://www.indiancurrents.org/a-time-to-reflect-1288.php
  29. ^ http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/mother-teresa-canonisation-sainthood-ceremony-3008637/

External links[edit]