VGSoM IIT Kharagpur hosts Abdul Rahim, Chief Knowledge Officer, IPE Global

 | March 27,2012 05:24 pm IST

Mark Twain once said This is indeed India! the land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendour and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of a hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend & great-grandmother of tradition - the same was re-iterated in the opening remarks by Mr. Abdul Rahim when he introduced the students to the 5 different Indias while speaking on the topic Indias Development Dilemma.

He started by showing some quick facts regarding HDI & PPP of different countries in the world. In terms of PPP India ranks amongst the top 3, whereas it ranked at 134 out of 160 nations in HDI (Human Development Index) showing a frantic need for reforms and policy changes for the development of the country as a whole. Furthermore, Mr. Rahim explained what HDI actually means in terms of life expectancy, education & economic levels and drew a comparison chart starting from 1960s to 1995 showing the shift in the focus of the Government pertaining to HDI.

In the current scenario, 8 key Millennium Development Goals have been identified by all the countries over the world to be achieved by 2015. These include Poverty & Hunger, Child Mortality, Education, Environment and Maternal Mortality amongst the others. Quoting a few examples from our daily lives, Mr. Rahim explained the importance of each of them to improve the quality of living. Additionally, the students were enthralled by the videos that Mr. Rahim played to bring home the point related to the growth, sustainable development and the comparison between the different countries based on life expectancy and per-capita income over the last 200 years.


Next Mr. Rahim explained the different development challenges existent in India like the improper & inefficient utilization of money, no-risk taking appetite of the people and the mindset of government agencies where they treat the people as a liability rather than focussing on good customer delivery. Speaking on the steps to improve the situation, Mr. Rahim emphasised the need of local innovation and creating development models to plug leakages and redistribute resources equitably. He gave a few good examples for the behavioural change of people too like The Government shouldnt preach or advocate causes but nudge them, Models from China based on making good citizenship fun and tax collection based on coupons, etc.

He proposed that the role of the Government should shift from being a provider of services to a regulator to better support the needs of the people like in the telecom and aviation sector. The government should push for quality and performance from its end and on the other end, the pull effect would be created by the people once their mindsets are changed. Community development programs should be improved and government should listen to the needs of the people. Quoting Amartya Sens Absence of Opportunity Program he explained various initiatives such as NIITs Hole in the Wall program which drives self learning in children by merely providing them with computers. Showing a cartoon strip from Sudhir Tailang, Mr. Rahim stressed that now is the time of act rather than to build acts.

Lastly, Mr. Rahim spoke about the role of companies like IPE Global which bridge the gaps between government agencies and the people by designing, managing and implementing different innovative plans for the government. As the session drew to a close, students and Mr. Rahim had a healthy discussion on reforming of the monetary disbursement scheme under NREGS through various novel ways. The session surely provided students with some deep insights and learning.