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IIM-A Held Its 54th Annual Convocation

The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), held its 54th annual convocation where 593 students were awarded their diplomas. Kaushik Basu, Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University was the Chief Guest at the convocation ceremony and delivered the convocation address.

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The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), held its 54th annual convocation where 593 students were awarded their diplomas.

Out of the five hundred ninety three students of IIM Ahmedabad who received their diplomas, 398 students were from Post Graduate Programme, PGP, (Batch 17-19), 45 students from Post Graduate Programme in Food and Agri-Business Management, PGP FABM, (Batch 17-19), 137 students from Post Graduate Programme in Executives, PGPX, (Batch 18-19) and 13 students from Fellow Programme of Management (FPM).

Kaushik Basu, Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University was the Chief Guest at the convocation ceremony and delivered the convocation address. While addressing the students, Basu gave life mantra to the graduating students and said that ‘reason’ and ‘morals’ are the two main themes for whatever one aspires to be in life. He said, “Reasoning is the most under-utilized of human faculties. Read some of the discussions and commentary on social media, and listen to television debates and you will wonder where reason has vanished. This is a telling commentary on education and explains why we make so many policy mistakes. There is also a lot that we can deal with through pure reasoning—reasoning with oneself, as clearly and honestly as one can. We do not do enough of this”.

“Traditional economics talks a lot about profit-motive and individual rationality. What is often forgotten but is actually as important for a society’s long run success is morality. Morals and trust provide the nuts and bolts of society. Without those you can get short run success but not long-run development”, he added.

The Food and Agri-Business programme by IIM-A is ranked at the number one position, in India rankings, announced by the National Institutional Ranking.

Errol D’Souza, Director, IIM-A delivered the concluding address and said, “Life as you well know has a way of creating unexpected events, and it is good to welcome them as a challenge that helps us to learn, adapt, and flourish. We may not be able to overcome all the stress and shocks that comes by our way but they require our vigorous response and at the very least they will make us resilient ― an increasingly important trait in an ever changing world”.

He added, “Whether I wish it or not you will have painful experiences but they will make you better persons. You will learn to attach importance to justice when you are treated unfairly and about compassion when you experience pain. There are lessons in the adversity you will come across and it is up to you to be aware of that   and thereby to benefit from their occurrence”.

Expressing concern towards the policy mistakes made by NDA government, Basu said, “Policy mistakes, such as the demonetization, which has hurt India’s growth, would not have occurred if there were policymakers that paid heed to the simple axiom of game theory asserts -- It is not good enough to be rational yourself. You must recognize that others are likely to be rational too and take that into account. For every policy, you have to anticipate how ordinary individuals and also bureaucrats will respond. That is the key to designing successful policy mechanisms.”

Basu said there were unmistakable signs of India's economy slowing down over last few years, adding that the latest data on industrial growth for January 2019 shows that "India's industry is barely growing" with growth rate down to 1.7%. The export growth is almost 0% on average of four years which has rarely happened in the past, he said.

“The most worrying is the jobs situation. If you put together all the piecemeal data coming in, it is clear that our workers are suffering greatly, with unemployment rate at over 7%, according to the Center for Monitoring the Indian Economy, and youth unemployment at 16%, as per a study by Azim Premji University. It is unfortunate that data on unemployment are being held back” Basu commented.

He further wished success to the students and said that there is no joy and happiness compared to the knowing that we have contributed to the legacy of leaving a better world for all of humanity.

He added, “By virtue of your excellent education, (you) have a special responsibility on your shoulders, the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech”.


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iim ahmedabad kaushik basu Errol D'Souza Convocation

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