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Ambassador of Czech Republic, Dr. Hynek Kmonicek, Delivers Guest Lecture at IIM Indore

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Ambassador of Czech Republic, Dr. Hynek Kmonicek, Delivers Guest Lecture at IIM Indore

It was a special occasion for the participants at IIM Indore as they sat in a class being taken by His Excellency Dr. Hynek Kmonicek, the Czech Republic's Ambassador to India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka. H. E. Dr. Hynek, who is presently stationed in India,
has worn many hats and taken up varied assignments in the UN (including the UN Budget Head a few years ago) and across the world. At IIM Indore, His Excellency was glad to be back in his academician shoes. His lecture was spread across diverse topics including economics, politics, environment, education, etc.

The Czech Republic is presently heading the activities of the European Union (EU), and hence, Dr. Hynek also represented the EU. He expressed his concern over the fact that though the EU was India's biggest economic partner, it was hardly ever in the news. India being one of the only 6 strategic partners of the EU, they wish to stay in close ties with our economy. As he spoke about his own country, The Czech Republic, His Excellency reminded the gathering that brands such as BATA and SKODA were the brain-child of the Czech and were later passed on into the hands of other nations. As of now, Czech Republic has not taken up the Euro as their currency due to their greater economic growth (as compared to the EU); however, they may accept it by 2012.

Former Czechoslovakia has experimented and transitioned from socialism to capitalism on more than one occasion. Their first attempt at capitalism was in the form of "voucher privatization" where in the State sold packets of all state-owned companies to the people. However, these companies soon passed hands by means of sale and reached the government once again. The nation might have failed the first time, but the second attempt was far more successful. The Czech sold some of their country's biggest companies such as Skoda (to Germany's Volkswagen) and Jawa (to Italy, which was Yesdi in India), Bohemian Beer, etc.

Speaking about education in The Czech Republic, H. E. Dr. Hynek stated that their country had 80 universities for 10 million people, including one of the world's oldest universities (since 1348) in their capital, Prague. Education in the Czech Language was free at all levels, though the new capitalist economy may change that soon.

H. E. Dr. Hynek Kmonicek defined parallels between India's liberalization process which began in 1991 and the same which started in Czech Republic in 1990. He urged the participants of IIM Indore to realize the need for a bit more courage when going in for systematic privatization of the Banking sector, which he felt was most essential. He felt that though India's literacy rates may vary immensely from those of Czech Republic, the capitalist approach could be implemented in a similar fashion.

Dr. Hynek explained how his nation addressed the issues of political unrest with their neighbours by becoming a part of a larger international arrangement and creating a strong economy. Commenting on the situation in Pakistan, His Excellency felt that we must help them create a stable government, because only when we know who's in true power, can we begin dialogue. Responding to a query by a participant, Dr. Hynek said that India truly deserved its seat on the United Nations Security Council, and sooner or later, it would happen.

As the talk shifted to other topics, he also addressed his country's approach to global warming and their attempts at a Green Planet. He said that his government always supported green technologies and would continue to do so.


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IIM Indore.

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