Creating prospective human service professionals for the nation
Catalyst Learning Services was established in 2011 with an aim to create prospective human service professionals who will enable people overcome poverty, deprivation and unemployment. Today, the institute keeps this vision alive through extensive teaching, research, policy support, and field action programmes. Catalyst has received a consistently high appreciation for mentoring students to excel in social sciences and is counted amongst the promising training institutes in Kolkata.
Every year by enabling students to successfully qualify the Bachelors & Masters admission entrance tests of the coveted Tata Institute of Social Sciences, London School of Economics, Sciences Po, Oxford University, Symbiosis, Institute of Development Studies, Nirmala Niketan, Azim Premji University, Delhi University, TERI, Delhi School of Social Work, Jadavpur University, Presidency University and other leading universities of India as well as abroad, Catalyst continues to produce committed high quality prospective human service professionals in a range of social and human development sectors: health, mental health, social epidemiology, clinical psychology; education and vocational skill development; human resources management, media and cultural studies, rural and urban development, livelihoods and social entrepreneurship, climate change, disaster management, regulatory governance, focused work on women, children, adolescents, youth, aged; disability studies; etc.
As an institution offering orientation in inter-disciplinary areas of Social Sciences, our curriculum strives to enable our students to understand the pulse of society and chart change processes that create appropriate solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our times; and become skilled social sector professionals capable of working with the Government, Corporates, and Civil Society. Catalyst is engaged in knowledge creation that is fundamental to understanding ways of achieving inclusive sustainable development, health, water and sanitation, education, skill development, peace building and national security.
In the last two decades, social sector programmes have expanded without commensurate growth in skilled personnel. Implementation of MGNREGA, NRLM, SAGY, Child protection, Elderly care, Tribal development and other central and state government programmes require thousands of professionals at various levels. Catalyst is uniquely located in the educational space to contribute to this process.
Our aim has been to provide socially relevant education that feeds into government policies in various public service sectors; such as nutrition, prisons, skill building and micro-business enterprise, shelter homes and welfare institutions and disaster relief. With an innovative curriculum, Catalyst courses stay relevant in the highly competitive higher education sector in an increasingly globalised world. A consistent effort is to develop the skills relevant in the new economy that can strengthen government initiatives in the social sector.
The growing number of students graduating from the Social Sciences every year is evidence of its unique role in the field of higher education today. Catalyst attracts some of the brightest students from across XIth & XIIth standards as well as from the colleges & universities in Kolkata and West Bengal. We have developed cutting-edge training techniques with a capacity to equip our students in research, field-action, and management; as well as working with various groups and institutions. Being an intellectually vibrant, diverse, socially conscientious institute, we respond to different forms of natural and human made disasters and conflicts through our student and faculty.
Catalyst emphasises employability, and all our students secure admissions into courses that provide them with placement through the university prior to graduation. Our students work with industries, government ministries / departments, civil society bodies, research settings, NGOs, and bilateral and multilateral organisations. Increasing number of our graduates also join All India Civil Services.
A key focus of our training curriculum is the emphasis on fieldwork for students to gain experience in the working world. Our teaching programmes involve a strong field work component that interfaces with classroom teaching; where students spend substantial time in concurrent field work. They do internships in industries, government department, hospitals, schools, custodial and protection homes; in rural, tribal and urban contexts working with people, institutions and processes. Through this combination of classroom teaching and fieldwork, students share and analyse knowledge in discussions in the class rooms, meetings and conferences; and develop empathy for the people they work with.
Profile of Founder – Sauraveswar Sen (Chief Mentor & Founder, Catalyst) : With a decade of experience in training students for competitive entrances, Sauraveswar established Catalyst in 2011. Sauraveswar switched gears from working as a Design Engineer with Mettler Toledo Inc. to what he was most passionate about – teaching. At 23, he was the youngest trainer delivering sessions at nationally reputed training institutes for GRE, GMAT, IELTS, CLAT & CAT.
Sauraveswar was quick to identify the non-participation of Humanities/PureArts students in competitive entrances and he envisaged Catalyst as a bridge to minimise the gap between the opportunities in Science-Commerce to that of Humanities.
Sauraveswar conducts regular workshops and seminars at South Point High School, Presidency University, Jadavpur University, Loreto College, Shri Shikshayatan College, Lady Brabourne College, Scottish Church College, Calcutta University. Catalyst is instrumental in initiating Jadavpur University Model United Nations, International Relations Scholastic Conclave, Sociology National Student Seminar at Presidency University, History Student Seminar at Loreto College, “Young Historians Symposium” at Jadavpur University and various field level projects. Sauraveswar also contributes career related articles to The Telegraph, “Prastuti” of Ananda Bazar Patrika, Femina magazine and Times of India.
With the support of an expert team of mentors, success stories of students and the increasing demand for social sciences professionals – innovators – entrepreneurs, Catalyst will strive harder to guide and mentor social sciences aspirants in stepping up to careers that will effectively contribute to a more developed, ecologically sustainable and just society.