• Siliguri Campus

The History

The Jesuit tradition of education in India began in 1542 when St. Francis Xavier, one of the founding members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Organisation), reached Goa. Today the Jesuits in India have more than 295 High Schools, 63 colleges, 15 Management Institutes, 22 Technical Institutes and 2 universities which engage approximately 11,225 teachers educating more than 3,24,500 students in India belonging to every social class, community and linguistic group.

Some of the well-known Jesuit Institutions of higher education in India are Loyola College (Chennai), St. Xavier’s College (Kolkata), St. Xavier’s College (Mumbai), St. Xavier’s College (Ranchi), St. Xavier’s College (Ahmedabad), Loyola College (Vijayawada), St. Joseph’s College (Tiruchirapally), St. Joseph’s College (Bangalore), St. Joseph’s College (Darjeeling), etc., apart from two universities: St. Xavier’s University (Kolkata) and Xavier University (Bhubaneswar).

Although the Jesuits in India run some well-known B-Schools (e.g. XLRI-Jamshedpur, XIM Bhubaneshwar, LIBA-Chennai, etc) and in recent years have also opened one Law College (Bengaluru) and one Engineering College (Chennai), the ultimate goal of all these institutions has been the all-round development of their students. Such students, after having graduated from any Jesuit institution, are called upon to become a support system for others, especially for the underprivileged and marginalized sections of the society.

It was long since the Christian community in particular and people of the North Bengal plains in general had felt the need for a Christian institution of higher learning. There had been many delegations in the past, requesting the Jesuit Provincials of Darjeeling Jesuit Province (comprising the five current northern-most districts of West Bengal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Mizoram) for the establishment of a Degree College that would not just cater to the North Bengal plains but also to the Hills of Darjeeling and Sikkim as well as the bordering states of Assam, Bihar and neighboring countries such as Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal and beyond. After much deliberations, followed by scouting for land large enough to give space for future expansion and development, the then Jesuit Provincial Fr. Cherian Padiyara, SJ (who would become the founder Principal of the college) with assistance from others, identified a large tract of unutilized land in a far-flung and obscure place, located in proximity to Koitowa. River, with only advantage being its location between the two fast growing urban centres of Siliguri and Jalpaiguri along the National Highway. Without much hesitation and ado, that land was purchased from the owners. It was the year 1997!


But due to various reasons, one being the paucity of fund, besides many legal and land-related complications and other procedural snag, start of the college kept getting delayed further. The tenants and former landowners who had sold off the land too were frustrated to the point of reclaiming the land and restarting agricultural practices. Hence, in order to utilize the space, some tea. bushes were planted which stand even to this day. Ultimately, a huge push was given under Fr. Peter Pappu, the then Jesuit Provincial, and kick starting some urgent works simultaneously: paper work for permission to start a new college and its recognition from the ministry of WB Higher Education, University of North Bengal (NBU) and UGC on one hand, and the construction at the present site on the other hand.

Despite racing against time to complete the structure for accommodating the first batch, it was not to be. And hence, in July 2007, the first academic session at the corridors of the new college kicked off at a makeshift house in Matigara, adjacent to Jesu Ashram. But it happened only after receiving an undertaking by parents that the students would be shifting to the new site at Balaigachh village under Rajganj Block of Jalpaiguri District from the following year. The first batch had 150 students pursuing B.A. (Honours) in English, History and Sociology, and B.Com (Honours) in Accountancy and Management besides General in B.A/B.Com. In an interesting turn of events, even before the college started, the hunt began looking for a suitable name. It was unanimously resolved that it had to be 'St Xavier's College', as a commoner part to its much older and illustrious St. Xavier's, Kolkata. Thus, North Bengal St. Xavier's College came into existence.

From June 2008, as planned, the college with its faculty and second batch of students shifted to the new building while the new batches started getting enrolled and the college embarked on a chartered path that has now crossed 12 years of its journey with ten batches already having graduated.