Since its foundation in 1880, St. Aloysius College has, at different times and in various ways, fostered the study of Konkani language, literature and culture. The monumental work was the publication of a critical edition of the Christian Purana of Rev. Thomas Stephens S.J. prepared by Prof. Joseph Saldanha in 1907. The promotion of a systematic study of Konkani and literature was taken up through a full-fledged Department of Konkani in the College and a Post Graduate Diploma Correspondence Course, besides the regular work at the Konkani Institute.
To preserve and promote the language, literature and culture of people speaking various dialects of Konkani, through academic and research-oriented activities.
St Aloysius College Institute of Konkani, under the administration of St Aloysius College (Autonomous) and guided by the motto ‘Shine to Enkindle’, seeks to promote Konkani language, literature and culture through
- Academic activities
- Publication of research and literature
- Celebration of Konakni culture and traditions, and
- Fostering of linguistic harmony and cultural bond among people speaking all dialects of Konkani.
The Institute of Konkani
As a Centenary gift to the College, the Institute of Konkani was established in 1980. Konkani language and literature got a new lease of life with the starting of this Institute. Various works of different authors were published by the Institute from time to time.
The Institute was functioning on the top floor of the old Boarding House, now demolished. In 1994, the institute was shifted to the Red Building, and then to Maffei Hall Block, and then again in 2001 to the Red Building.
A six-monthly research journal entitled ‘Amar Konkani’, the only one of its kind in Konkani, is being published in two scripts 1. e. Kannada and Devnagari. From January 1981, till December 2021, Seventy-Six issues have been published. The editors of the journals were –
- V. J. P. Saldanha ( 1981-1985).
- Prof Alban Castelino (1986-1994).
- Edwin D’Souza (1994-2000),
- Prof Bennet Pinto (2001-2002).
- Fr Stany D’Souza S.J. (2003)
- Fr Eugine Lobo S.J. (2004-2006)
- Fr Sweebert D’Silva S.J. (2007)
- Mr Edwin J. F. D’Souza (2007-2018)
- (Fr) Melwin Pinto SJ (2018-)
“Fr Sylvester Monteiro S.J. Memorial Annual Lecture’ and the ‘Late Prof Bennet Pinto Memorial Annual Lecture.’
Mr. Bennett Pinto was the Lecturer in Commerce in the College. His contribution to the Institute as the Executive Director and the editor of the Amar Konkani was immense. His family members and friends instituted this annual lecture.
Academic Dimensions of The Institute of Konkani
Konkani Lexicon Project
The Government of Karnataka had promised financial grants for the Konkani Lexicon Project. Fr Herbert Noronha did the initial work. Later on Fr Willy D’Silva, the renowned scholar was appointed as the Editor of the proposed Konkani Lexicon. Work on the project had been continuous since 1988. In other areas of work, especially the area of fieldwork, meticulous planning was done. The Committee worked in two phases.
The first was to complete the work of Kthe annada script in the Konkani region and then to publish it and then extend the work to other areas, mainly Goa. The Kannada script area material was to be edited in Nagar Kannada and phonetic script. Since the Government did not sanction further grants, and due to many other constraints, like lack of decisiveness on the part of the Management, this great project was shelved.
Dictionary of Konkani Idioms The project of the Dictionary of ten thousand Konkani Idioms was undertaken in 1998 and was completed in 2004. Most Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach the Superior General of the Jesuits releaunofficiallyfcially and the Rt. Rev. Dr. Aloysius D’Souza, Bishop of Mangalore released it on 24′ April 2004.
Konkani Diploma Course (Evening)
Saturday, 4′ January, 1992, deserves to be written in golden letters in the history of the Konkani Movement, for it marks the inauguration of the Department of Konkani Studies in the College. Fr Joseph Nelapati S.J, the Principal of the College, himself a Telugu, was the brain behind the Diploma Course. The Law Minister of the Karnataka Government Mr. Blasius D Souza, an old student, promised on that day that, Karnataka Government would establish a Konkani Academy for the promotion of Konkani literature and folk arts and Konkani would and should be included in the VI schedule of the constitution of India. Both these promises are realities today. The Vice Chancellor of Mangalore University, Prof. M. I. Savadathi inaugurated the course. Facilities were created in the College for the study of Konkani literature. A library took shape. There were constant interactions with leading lights of Konkani movement in the city. Academic support was received from Thomas Stephen Konkani Kendr, Goa. A four-module diploma course in Konkani was introduced, with the fourth module reserved for dissertation and project work. The first module of the Diploma Course was started in January 1992. This two-month module was financially supported by the All India Association for Christian Higher Education. The Diploma Course had prepared persons who could teach Konkani at the school level. The faculty, regular and visiting, consisted of such eminent writers as V. J. P. Saldanha, Edwin D Souza, Jossy Vas, Fr Mark Walder, and Henry Almeida S. J. Judy Pinto, Bennett Pinto, and Sr. Celine Vas. Area covered included History of the Language, Prose and Literary Criticism, Grammar, Linguistics, Poetry, Drama, Principles, and Practice of Devnagari Script, Journalism, Feature and Column Writing, Folklore and Arts. Guest teachers included Prof. Alban Castelino, Venkatesh Prabhu, Prabha Kamath, and Cha. Fra. Da Costa. Practical classes were conducted by Dolphy Cascia, Melwyn Rodrigues, Maurice D’Sa, and Sr. Lydia Fernandes A. C.
Post-Graduate Diploma Correspondence Course
From 1997 the evening course was made more broad based to be offered to more students worldwide. The outcome was the formation of a Post Graduate Diploma Correspondence Course in Konkani. The Department turned out 3 batches of students qualified with a Diploma in Konkani Studies after which the Institute of Konkani thought of reaching out to students in a big way worldwide. That was how the Two years Post Graduate Diploma Correspondence Course in Konkani was started in the year 1997. The then Principal along with Prof. Bennett Pinto as the Executive Director took the P C. Course to great heights when they succeeded in enrolling 143 students in the very first year. To date, 356 students have enrolled themselves for the P. G. Diploma Correspondence Course in Konkani.
The Konkani Institute of St. Aloysius College had its first annual Convocation of the Konkani Post Graduate Diploma Correspondence Course on Saturday 2nd September, 2000, in the College Auditorium. Dr. B. S. Sonde, Vice-Chancellor of Goa University was the Chief Guest and conferred the P. G. Diplomas on the successful candidates.
This course was the first of its kind in India and had attracted students from all over the world and quite a few of them were present for the Convocation. In all 212 students worldwide had qualified for the P. G. Diploma, out of which 85 were present for the Convocation function and received their Certificates from the Vice-Chancellor.
Students had arrived from places like New Delhi, Calcutta, Nagaland, Punjab. Mumbai, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chennai, Kerala, Bangalore, Uttar Kannada and Dakshina Kannada. Foreign students, who are spread out in countries like Canada, U. S. A., Germany, Switzerland, France, Singapore, Italy, and the Middle East were represented.
Library of the Institute
This library is the most up-to-date Konkani Library in the State and boasts of books dating back to over one hundred years. All the books are in konkani and in kannada script.
The breakdown under prominent heads till date is listed below:
- Novels: 1267
- Poetry: 743
- Dramas: 299
- Religious: 894
- Biographies: 400
- Language & Grammar: 366
- History: 88
- Folklore: 101
- Health: 60
- Dictionaries: 150
- Literature/Lang: 69
- Miscellaneous: 417
The library has 11,756 volumes in total which comprises of bound volumes of various Konkani periodicals in Kannada script dating back to 1912 and souvenirs/reports of various Konkani programs, seminars, workshops/PGDC notes etc.
Many students from Kerala, Goa, Mumbai, Mangalore pursuing PhD studies are constantly reaping the benefits of this library.
Besides the library, the Institute also has built up a collection of material of all types video, audio, photographs, etc. relating to Konkani language and literature, folklore, and culture. The institute right now has a collection of over 400 audiotapes, which have been filled with different dialects and vocabulary of different regions of Konkani. The relatives of late Mr. A. T. Lobo, the renowned Konkani novelist have donated many books to the library. The son of late Mr. V. J. P. Saldanha, the great Konkani novelist, has donated many books to the library.
The Institute of Konkani has won laurels and recognition for its work, especially for the Post-Graduate Correspondence Course in Konkani. The Konkani Writers Forum of Karnataka, which is a registered body, has given to the Institute public honors on a State Level, for excellence in academics. The Institute has also won recognition on a regional level for the quality of its work, including the research journal, Amar Konkani, which was publicly acknowledged on the National Recognition Day of Konkani was bestowed with State Level honors and recognition for its P.G. Course at a Writers Forum of Karnataka.
State-Level Konkani Conference organized under the auspices of the Writer’s Forum of Karnataka.