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Beginning September 5, city colleges that are busy round the year with lectures and examinations will start their day with a prayer session in the assembly hall.
The higher education department has asked arts, science and commerce colleges to hold sarva dharma prayers every day. Students will be asked to compulsorily attend the session. The idea is to inculcate a spirit of togetherness and begin the day on a positive note. After the 3 to10 minute prayer, students will read out news headlines in English and Gujarati. This will be followed by general knowledge quiz and discussion/debate on current affairs. The initiative is part of the higher education departments Chalo College campaign. For the first 15 days, teachers, principals and Knowledge Consortium of Gujarat will also make students aware of the departments projects like saptadhara (extracurricular activities), choice-based credit system, Udisha (placement programme ) and SCOPE (English- proficiency course). We have asked the colleges to make the assembly session mandatory. It will begin with a sarva dharma prayer, respecting the religious sentiments of all the students. Remembering God at the start of the day is a good practice. Reciting a prayer together fosters a feeling of unity and team spirit, said a higher education department official seeking anonymity. The students committee in the colleges will be made in charge of running the assembly which will witness news reading, debates, discussions, quiz programmes, career guidance and celebration of colleges achievements. The objective behind having an assembly is to instill good values among students and encourage all round development. We will review the assembly sessions in January, he added. Subhash Brahmbhatt, principal of HK Arts College, said, We always start our day in the college with prayers. Remembering God before taking up any work is a good thing. A prayer generates an aura of positivity and peace. It also makes one feel better psychologically; ready to tackle any hardship in life. I think making prayers mandatory in colleges is a good idea. What should attract students is the idea of debate and discussion after the prayers. B K Jain, principal of M G Science Institute said, As per Indian culture, a prayer holds an important place in our daily life. However, it is out of fashion for many youngsters today to offer prayers on a daily basis. But if they make it an everyday practice, it will do them a lot of good psychologically. Though, initially the assembly session might not attract many students, once students start attending they'll never want to miss it. Ghanshyam Shukla, a student of Saraspur College said, The assembly was part of our school life. I miss it in college and am glad to know that that the higher education department is introducing the practice. It is unlikely that every student will attend the assembly initially, but it will eventually be a huge hit. It provides a great platform to the students to interact, showcase their skills and hone leadership qualities.
Courtesy: Times of India
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