Maharashtra Manthan 2018: Strengthening secularism

Report of Maharashtra Manthan 2018-19: Strengthening Secularism
NCCI , EFI, UM | 30th April – 2nd May 2018 | M.L.A. Hostel, Nagpur.

“Maharashtra Manthan : Strengthening Secularism”, a 3 days seminar organized by National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) and United Maharashtra (UM), was held at MLA Hostel, Nagpur from April 30 to May 2, 2018. More than 75 people which included youth and female participants from different cities of Maharashtra state participated in this seminar. There were 8 women participants and about 25 young people.

30th April 2018 (Day 1)

Maharashtra Manthan started at 12:45 pm with an opening prayer by Pastor Amit Manwatkar. The Coordinator of the Maharashtra Manthan was Rev. Devashish Dubey who introduced the concept of Maharashtra Manthan to the participants. He emphasized that the main objective of Maharashtra Manthan 2018 is to bring awareness about the contemporary contextual situation in the country among the participants and to guide the community and society in building new, sensitized and responsible leadership through the training.  Mr. Pradip Bansrior (NCCI Representative) presented the guidelines for the two and half day’s seminar to all participants.

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Prof. Dr. Z. C. Devadanam passes away.

Prof. Dr. Z. C. Devadanam who served as Treasurer of National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) from 2004 to 2008, passed away on May 10, 2018.

He belonged to Samavesam of Telugu Baptist Churches, and served as Chairperson of the General Body of the Stanton Memorial Telugu Baptist Church. Dr. Devadanam was professor of Economics. He was passionate about Church work, and participated in many programs especially for the upliftment of the underprivileged. He was prominently present in efforts that sought justice for Dalits and Tribals.

The funeral is scheduled for May 12, 2018 at 2:00 pm in Kurnool. He is survived by his son, two daughters and five grand-children. We thank God for Dr. Devadanam’s life and many contributions, and we pray for God’s peace to be with the family. May his life continue to be an inspiration for faithful Christian witness and service.


ASIA SUNDAY 2018 (May 13, 2018)

Theme: ‘Embracing the Differently Abled and Upholding Their Dignity’.

Respected and Revered Church Leaders and People of God,

Greetings from the Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment  of the National Council of Churches in India!

The Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) has invited the entire Asian Churches to  observe ‘Asia Sunday’ on 13 May, 2018 on the theme, ‘Embracing the Differently Abled and Upholding Their Dignity’.

The Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment of NCCI (NCCI -IDEA) congratulates the CCA Leadership for having chosen the theme concerning The People with Disabilities (PWDs).

The Asia Sunday is observed every year on the Sunday before the Pentecost. But, some of the Indian Churches are observing  Mother’s Sunday on the 13th May. However, we encourage the Church leaders, clerics and people of God to observe the Asia Sunday either on the 13th May or on subsequent Sundays that are convenient to you.

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NCCI condemns act of labelling candidates for constable post as SC/ST/ OBC on their chests

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Despite the right to non-discrimination on the basis of race or caste enshrined in Article 15 of the Indian Constitution, discrimination against SCs and STs is pervasive. Markings of “SC” for scheduled caste, “ST” for scheduled tribe, “O” for OBC (other backward class) and “G” for General, of candidates for the post of constable on their chests in a bid to identify their castes during their medical examination in Dhar district of BJP ruled state, Madhya Pradesh, is not only a violation of human rights but also a criminal offence under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.

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A Brief Report on Colloquium on Reclaiming the Constitutional and Democratic Rights

Colloquium on Reclaiming the Constitutional and Democratic Rights

Jointly organized by India Peace Center, Diocese of Chhattisgarh – CNI and NCCI- Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi Concerns

17th April 2018, Gass Memorial Hall, Raipur (Chhattisgarh)

The issue of rising communal unrest in the country and the steady penetration of the Right wing hindutva ideologies have paved an extremely narrow path for the minority groups and oppressed communities especially SC/ST’s in the country by withholding their fundamental rights in the recent times which created a great imbalance in the economic and social forms. The responsibility of the Christian communities and other faith communities is therefore to be united and to strive against the fascist forces and to rule out such ideologies which can disrupt and damage the peace and harmony of the country which is yet again a threat to the democratic values of any country and its people (citizens) as a whole.

To mark the 127th birth anniversary of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, on 17th April 2018, a Colloquium on Reclaiming the Constitutional and Democratic Rights was held at Gass Memorial Centre, Raipur, Chhattisgarh jointly organized by the India Peace Center, NCCI- Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi Concerns and Diocese of Chhattisgarh, CNI. The colloquium witnessed a participation of 50 delegates representing different Churches, Denominations and organizations as well as nine Resource Persons. The colloquium was meant to highlight the issue of reclaiming the Constitutional and Democratic Rights and also to address the growing fascism and communal activities spread by Hindutva and Right wing forces in India.

A series of sessions taken by the resource persons on the topic highlighted the various issues happening in the country and what could be the possibilities and approaches to be taken by the Christian communities in order to address them.

The introduction of the colloquium was given by Mr. Kasta Dip, Director of India Peace Centre (IPC) highlighting the various ways the present government and Right wing groups are trying to disrupt the peace and harmony of India by tampering the Indian Constitution and by bringing various changes to the laws and rights which the Dalit and the Tribal communities hold by downsizing their right to file the complaints about the atrocities done on them. Mr. Kasta Dip gave example of the murder of the late journalist Ms. Gauri Lankesh and emphasized that Christian communities should voice out the atrocities and violence committed on people from different faith groups and not only for their own Christian brethren.

Rt. Rev. Robert Ali, Bishop of Diocese of Chhattisgarh – CNI welcomed the august gathering on behalf of Diocese of Chhattisgarh and gave  a short reflection from Bible and spoke on various ways how Bible highlights the different voices of the oppressed people and identify like Jesus Christ and following the path and his teachings.

The Keynote address was delivered by Prof. Dr. Yugal Rayulu, Professor at Dharampeth Science College, highlighted the present situation of the Indian judiciary and the attack on the Constitution. Dr. Rayalu also vehemently criticized the actions taken by the present government towards attacking the rights of the SC/ST communities and following and propagating a dictatorship ruled ideology against the democratic rule in the country.

 Professor Dr. Vikas Jambulkar, Professor at Rashtriya Santh Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University (RTMNU), highlighted the various egalitarian qualities which Buddhism and Christianity professes. Dr. Jambulkar stressed on the democratic principle which the Indian Constitution holds and provides equal opportunities to both men and women. Dr. Jambulkar also highlighted the issues of moral policing done by the present government with regards to changing the eating habits and bringing pseudo-scientific discoveries in the colour of religious belief system.

Mr. Arun Panalal from United Christian Forum of Chhattisgarh, an activist based and working in the regions of Chhattisgarh especially in Raipur stressed on the importance of the Preamble and the Indian Constitution and raised the issue of knowing and be through with the fundamental rights which a Christian has. Mr. Panalal also encouraged the Christian leaders to give importance to the politics and its principles and to teach and incorporate at different levels in the churches as well as in Christian institutions especially among the youths and upcoming generations.

Advocate Rajendra Sail, highlighted the significance of the constitution and bringing people towards the understanding of becoming ‘Republic’ and “Re-peopled the De-peopled people.” Adv. Sail also stressed and talked about the minority rights and religious freedom which is been tampered and drastically changed by the influence of the Hindutva forces. Adv. Sail also spoke about the slow penetrating fascist and communal ideologies which are spreading in the country by the Right wing groups and Hindutva forces by the present government.

Mr. Akhilesh Edgar from ADF, spoke on the rising tide of the communal tension in the state of Chhattisgarh and different parts of the country. Mr. Akhilesh Edgar also in his session highlighted that there should be effective steps taken in order to preserve the Indian constitution and the rights of the SC/ST communities in the country from any kind of damage done on it and to claim the identity of the people as an integral part of country.

Mr. Pradip Bansrior, Executive Secretary – Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi Concerns from NCCI stressed on Supreme Court’s ruling on dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and how the right wings in the country are making efforts and changes in manipulating and dismantling the historical accounts and bringing their own narratives in the historical accounts by tampering them. He also highlighted the articles 15, 16 and 17 of our Indian constitution

The concluding message was given by Rev. Dr. Atul Arthur, Secretary of Chhattisgarh Diocese, CNI. He encouraged the delegates to be united and strive to protect the Constitutional and Democratic Rights which in the contemporary times are at the risk of getting ruled out by the present invisible Right wing forces and Hindutva groups lead by the support of present government which aims to spread in the fascist ideology in the Indian masses which is a threat to an egalitarian based Constitution and Democratic society.

The colloquium highlighted the key points towards reclaiming the Constitutional and Democratic Rights in India.

  • To encourage the Christian communities of the state of Chhattisgarh to rise against the ideologies of Fascism and Dictatorship rule.
  • To encourage and teach the democratic values of Indian constitution in the Church and especially to the young people studying in the Christian institutions.
  • To promote an egalitarian ideology in the church and community setup and to stand united instead of being divided in different denominational and doctrinal differences.
  • To follow the path showed by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar towards making a democratic front and an egalitarian community.

The colloquium concluded with a vote of thanks offered by Mr. Kasta Dip followed by the closing prayer and benediction pronounced by Bishop, Rt. Rev. Robert Ali.

Submitted by:

Mr. Saurabh Khobragade

Intern- DATA Concerns, NCCI

Advertisement for the post of NCCI General Secretary

April 27, 2018


The Constituent Members

National Council of Churches in India


Dear Ecumenical Leaders,

Please find here an Advertisement for the post of NCCI General Secretary. The Search Committee in its meeting held on 21st April 2018 in Chennai decided to advertise for the post of NCCI General Secretary in the official journals of all the Member churches, Related Agencies, Christian Organizations, Regional Councils of NCCI and also in their websites. The application should be addressed to the President of the NCCI. The hard and soft copies of the application must reach the following address on or before 30th June 2018.

The Most Rev. Dr. P.C. Singh
President, National Council of Churches in India
2131, Napier Town
Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh 482001.

The application must contain a vision statement, resume, and copies of the certificates. It was further decided that if more than ten candidates apply, they will be shortlisted before being called for the interview.

Therefore, with this email you are requested to kindly contribute/support by publishing the attached advertisement in your official journals and also put in your official website for the upliftment of ecumenical movement.

With all good wishes,


Most Rev. Dr. P.C. Singh
National Council of Churches in India.

Christian Council Campus
Near Maharashtra State Biodiversity  Board, NCCI Road,
Post Box # 205, Civil Lines, Nagpur-440 001, Maharashtra, INDIA
Tel: +91-712-2531312, 2561464 | Fax: +91-712-2520554
Email:; |Website:



General Secretary 2018 Adv

A Fresh Call for Applications to the post of Executive Secretary, NCCI – Policy Governance and Public Witness


A Fresh Call for Applications to the post of

Executive Secretary, NCCI – Policy Governance and Public Witness

Qualifications Required:

  1. A post-graduate degree or its equivalent in Political Science or Economics or Sociology or Law or any related subjects.
  2. Having experience in Advocacy and Campaigning on issues of contemporary concern;
  3. Skilful in relating with government, churches and civil society.
  4. Proficiency  in English and Hindi language articulation (written and oral)
  5. Excellent knowledge of MS Office, social media and apps.


Age Requirement:

  1. The candidates should be between 40 and 55 years of age.
  2. The upper limit of age criterion will be relaxed in the case of any Christian high level Government officer.



  • Strengthen the churches in their public witness;
  • Accompany and facilitate churches to address contemporary political, economic, social, and religious issues in the country;
  • Liaise between the churches and the government on important matters;
  • Work with NGOs and civil society bodies on concerns of national importance;
  • Collect and disseminate information and news relating to issues of democracy secularism, justice liberty, equality and fraternity;
  • Draft news reports and press releases on issues of importance, and national and international significance, for and on behalf of the General Secretary;
  • Maintain contact, and liaise, with representatives of media particularly at the national capital;
  • Any other related work that may be assigned from time to time.


Salary: Depending on qualification and experience, the selected candidate’s salary will be appropriately fixed on the scale: 26,325-975-31200-1170-37050-1365-43875-1560-51675-1755-60450. Allowances would also be paid as per the standards and norms of the NCCI


Location: The Executive Secretary – Policy Governance and Public Witness will operate from Delhi.

Applications: Interested and eligible candidates may apply enclosing copies of relevant documents including an endorsement from the Church by 31st May 2018, to

The General Secretary

National Council of Churches in India

P.O. Box # 205, Civil Lines,

Nagpur – 440 001, MAHARASHTRA

Phone: (0712) 2531312/2561464,

Fax: (0712) 2520554, Email:


Applicants should also provide their telephone/cell phone contact nos.

Candidates, who have applied earlier, need not apply again.

Short listed candidates will be called for an interview. Selected applicant will be expected to join soon after the selection is made in June 2018.

Open Letter to Prime Minister of India | End Culture of Rape & Sexual Violence on Girls, Children & Women in India!

Date: 16th April 2018


Sri Narendra Modi,
Honourable Prime Minister in India,
South Block, Raisina Hill,
New Delhi -110011

Open Letter to Prime Minister of India
End Culture of Rape & Sexual Violence on Girls, Children & Women in India !


Honourable Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi,

Greetings from the National Council of Churches in India.

National Council of Churches represents around 14 million Christians in India from Reformation and Syrian Christian Traditions.

We write this letter at the darkest hour of our country when our Government is failing to protect girls, women and children. We express our deep anguish and pain, regarding the barbaric and heinous act of gang rape and murder of the little eight year old girl in Kathua and the rape of young 20 year old girl from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.

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For our Prayerful Commitment to the Cause of Justice in Secular Democratic India

As we are all aware, members of vulnerable communities in India organized mass protests on 2nd April 2018 against a Supreme Court ruling, which activists say will likely dilute a stringent law that was enacted to address atrocities against scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, the rate of crimes against Dalits, who number more than 200 million, has risen in recent years. Reuters News Agency reports that Government data shows that by the end of 2016, about 90 percent of roughly 145,000 cases involving Dalits were still awaiting trial. Government data also shows that less than a tenth of the cases brought by Dalits in 2016 were proven to be false. In a democracy the people, who are weak, are protected by the law; the courts work for them. Hence the concern and campaign of the vulnerable sections of society for justice that assures them of protection of their lives, land and livelihood.

Dalits who constitute 16.63 percent and Tribals who constitute 8.6 percent of the Indian population, are a social minority. Dalits and Tribals/Adivasis have realized that arrests under the ST/SC (Prevention of Atrocities) Act have worked as a great deterrent.

The key features of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015, ( are:

  • New offences of atrocities like tonsuring of head, moustache, or similar acts which are derogatory to the dignity of members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, garlanding with chappals, denying access to irrigation facilities or forest rights , dispose or carry human or animal carcasses, or to dig graves, using or permitting manual scavenging, dedicating a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe women as devadasi, abusing in caste name, perpetrating witchcraft atrocities, imposing social or economic boycott, preventing Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes candidates from filing of nomination to contest elections, hurting a Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes woman by removing her garments, forcing a member of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe to leave house , village or residence, defiling objects sacred to members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe, touching or using words, acts or gestures of a sexual nature against members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe.
  • Addition of certain IPC offences like hurt, grievous hurt, intimidation, kidnapping etc., attracting less than ten years of imprisonment, committed against members of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe, as offences punishable under the PoA Act. Presently, only those offences listed in IPC as attracting punishment of 10 years or more and committed on members of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe are accepted as offences falling under the PoA Act.
  • Establishment of Exclusive Special Courts and specification of Exclusive Special Public Prosecutors also, to exclusively try the offences under the PoA Act to enable speedy and expeditious disposal of cases.
  • Power of Special Courts and Exclusive Special Courts, to take direct cognizance of offence and as far as possible, completion of trial of the case within two months, from the date of filing of the charge sheet.
  • Addition of chapter on the ‘Rights of Victims and Witnesses’.
  • Defining clearly the term ‘wilful negligence’ of public servants at all levels, starting from the registration of complaint, and covering aspects of dereliction of duty under this Act.
  • Addition of presumption to the offences – If the accused was acquainted with the victim or his family, the court will presume that the accused was aware of the caste or tribal identity of the victim unless proved otherwise.

SC/ST people, who are most vulnerable on account of corruption, criminalization and communal grounds, are threatened, victimized and pressurized by unsocial elements. Therefore, the ruling of the Supreme Court on March 20, 2018 which does away with immediate arrests gives rise to the apprehensions of the vulnerable minorities that perpetrators of violence will get away without being immediately taken to task for their criminal acts.. Hence the importance and urgency of protection and immediate action against the perpetrators of atrocities on them.

The State with all its mechanisms and the Society have to ensure that vulnerable communities are granted due protection against atrocities and that the injustices of the caste system are rooted out.

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad
General Secretary,
National Council of Churches in India.
Mr. Pradip Bansrior
Executive Secretary
Dalit and Tribal / Adivasi Concerns, NCCI.

Call for applications to the post of NCCI Executive Secretary – Policy, Governance and Public Witness.

Kindly download a copy of the advertisement of the NCCI calling for applications to the post of NCCI Executive Secretary – Policy Governance and Public Witness.

Please encourage suitable candidates to apply for the same.

Thanking you,


Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad,
General Secretary, NCCI