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IGNOU establishes Mother Teresa Chair
The Mother Teresa Chair (MTC) has been established at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi, as a part of the Centenary Celebration of the birth of Mother Teresa.

The MTC was inaugurated on Tuesday, March 12, by Oscar Fernandes, Member of Parliament and Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Human Resource Development in the presence of Rev. Dr. Jacob Mar Bernabas, Bishop of Malankara Catholic Church, Delhi, Gopinath Pradhan, Vice Chancellor, IGNOU and Gracious Thomas, Director, School of Social Work, IGNOU.

The proposal for MTC was mooted by the School of Social Work and the Academic Council to promote socially relevant programmes in the area of philanthropy and inter-religious studies. According to Thomas, the MTC will also undertake extension activities targeting the HIV infected, leprosy patients, street children, refugees, and the destitute.

Inaugurating the MTC, Fernandes announced that the union government will establish 50,000 technology and skill education centres that will cater to 50 lakh job aspirants and by 2020, there centers are likely to reach out to at least 30 per cent of the Indian youth.

According to an IGNOU circular, the MTC will impart training for welfare providers, celebrate Mother Teresa’s August 26 Birthday as National Philanthropic Day, and institute awards for social service.

A Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) press statement quoting IGNO's circular said that in addition to conducting the Master of Social Work (MSW) program, the occupant of the MTC will promote studies on HIV, refugees, displaced people, street children, and care for vulnerable people in other sectors of society.

IGNOU had earlier named a campus building as Mother Teresa Bhavan and has been organizing the Annual Mother Teresa Memorial Lecture from 2008 apart from instituting Mother Teresa Memorial Award to the gold medalist of MSW programme.

Bharat Ratna and Nobel Laureate Blessed Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in Skopje, the present capital of the Republic of Macedonia, on August 26, 1910. Adopting Indian citizenship, she served the poor, the sick, the orphaned and the dying for over forty years.

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