03/17/2017, 16.34

Nagaland to get its Christian university open to everyone

The North East Christian University is an initiative of the Council of Baptist Churches of North East India. American donors will bear most of the costs with courses set to start in 2018. About 90 per cent of the state’s population is Christian.

Kohima (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The State of Nagaland will soon have a Christian university open to everyone. Students will be able to choose high level and high-tech programmes in "an atmosphere of Christian ethics".

The university, to be named North East Christian University (NECU), will be built on an area of ​​247 acres (almost a million square metres) in Medziphema, a village some 30 km from Dimapur, the state’s largest city.

The initiative is the brainchild of the Council of Baptist Churches of North East India (CBCNEI), which will also finance the construction. The initial funding includes 1.8 billion rupees (US$ 27.5 million), most of it from American donors.

Alemtemshi Jamir, retired secretary of Nagaland and member of the NECU governing body, said that "1.2 billion rupees will come from American friends, while the cost for the [Indian Churches] will only be 600 million rupees."

According to NECU Vice Rector Rev A K Lama, a "university with a Christian ethos has always been the dream of the Council of Baptist Churches of North East India".

To fulfill this wish, CBCNEI President K C Momin on 10 March laid the first brick of the new campus in the presence of Deo Nukhu, parliamentary secretary for Higher and Technical Education, and the representatives of many Churches.

Mr Nukhu said that the State Government would provide logistical support, in particular with regard to water and electricity supply.

Courses "will start in all likelihood in 2018, but our goal is to complete the project in five years from now,” said Alemtemshi Jamir.

The construction of the Christian university highlights the importance of Churches in the Indian state. According to the 2011 census, Nagaland had a population of 1,988,000, 90.02 per cent Christian.

Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram are the only three Indian states with a Christian majority (up to 90 per cent), a rare situation in a country where Christians are 2.3 per cent out of a population of 1.2 billion.

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