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How IIM Calcutta Fared in Thought Leadership in 2009-10

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How IIM Calcutta Fared in Thought Leadership in 2009-10
Convocation Speech by Ajit Balakrishnan, Chairman, Board of Governors, IIM Calcutta


Prof. Debashish Bhattacharjee and his co-author undertook a sweeping study of both the historical evolution of Employment Relations in India from 1947 right down to the effects of the Global Recession of 2008 as well as an equally magisterial look at how the Indian academic tradition of Industrial Relations has gradually transformed itself into the Human Resource Management movement.

His paper, Comparative Industrial Relations Narratives and their Relevance to India, was presented at the 15th Congress of the International Industrial Relations Association meeting in Sydney, Australia in August, 2009.

Our newly formed Public Policy and Management Group has kicked off to a great start. Profs. Bhaskar Chakrabarti and Raghabendra Chattopadhay addressed the problem of developing the right measures for judging the effectiveness of Local Government Bodies and presented their paper, Administrative Reforms for Local Governments in Rural West Bengal at the Annual Conference of the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration, at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil d August, 2009.

The same team presented two other papers, Village Forums or Development Councils: People's participation in decision-making in rural West Bengal and Local Governments in rural West Bengal, and their Coordination with Line Departments at the Commonwealth Local Government Conference in the Bahamas in May 2009 and a third paper titled, Decentralization of Irrigation Management in India: Problems of Participation and the role of Water User Associations together with Suman Nath at 5th Annual International Conference on Public Administration, in Chengdu, China October, 2009.

Prof. Manish Thakur, of the Public Policy Group did one of the few academic studies available on India's giant National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. He points out that the value of this scheme should not be judged merely by the preset targets they achieve but also by how they mobilize the poor and also sets in motion the consolidation of a constellation of interests which for years to come will help the poor articulate their collective rights. His paper, Public Policy Interventions and Social Inclusion, was presented at 5th Annual International Conference on Public Administration, 2009 held at Chengdu, China in Oct 2009.

In his paper, Social Welfare through Business: Study of Home Based Ayah Service for the Aged, Professor Kalyan Sankar Mandal of the Public Policy Group presents an example of how a business can contribute to social welfare. This paper was presented at the 9th Conference of Asia-Pacific Sociological Association at Bali, Indonesia in June, 2009. Prof. Mandal also took a look at the prospect of private sector initiatives helping out in the gigantic task of improving primary school quality in his paper, Towards Universalising Primary Education: A Business Solution presented at the International Conference on Primary Education held at Hong Kong, November 2009.

Last year, the film Slumdog Millionaire, poignantly portrayed the despairing lives of people in our great cities. India now has over 35 such metropolitan areas each with a population of over 1 million. Over a 100 million Indians now live in such metropolitan settings and they live in unequal access to health care and education. Prof Annapurna Shaw of our Public Policy Group studies what she calls "place inequalities" at the metropolitan level in her paper, Metropolitan Governance and Social Inequality in India which was presented at the conference on Metropolitan Inequality and Governance in International Perspective held at University of Southern Californea, Los Angeles in January 2009 and at the 105th meeting the Association of American Geographers at Las Vegas on March 2009.

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Contributed By-
Aloke Guin,
IIM, Calcutta.

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