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Raipur, Chhattisgarh : 17.04.2015

It is indeed a proud privilege for me to be present amidst you today for the Fourth Annual Convocation of IIM Raipur to deliver the convocation address.

Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Education enriches lives, advances thinking, propagates new thought and enhances human capacity. Given that knowledge will spur growth in the future, it is essential that we prepare a large pool of skilled and capable manpower who can drive rapid economic growth of our country and enable us to deal with poverty, deprivation and backwardness.

Most prosperous nations and societies have built their economic success on the foundation of a sound education system and rich culture of research. Success in the 21st century will be increasingly dependent on innovation and the competitive use of knowledge. Keeping in mind the need to build a knowledge society, the Indian Institute of Management was set up in Raipur in 2010. I am happy that IIM Raipur is relentlessly pursuing its objectives of excellence in teaching, learning and human resource development. I understand the new state-of-the art campus at Naya Raipur will provide amenities comparable to any world class institute.

Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Setting up of more and more institutions to impart higher education is important. In fact, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has announced that 22 new higher education institutions will be established. These are six new IITs, seven new IIMs, three IISERs four new Central Universities/Tribal Universities and one NIT as well as an IIIT spread over several states in the country.

It is however equally essential that with the physical expansion of educational infrastructure, the education imparted to our students should also be of a high quality. The Government is also taking proactive steps to ensure that students receive the required knowledge and skills that are essential to meet new needs. An important decision taken recently in this regard is the setting up of a National Ranking Framework for higher educational institutions. I hope this will generate healthy competition amongst our institutions for excellence, including IIMs.

The Government of India also plans to start SWAYAM or (Smart Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) Courses in OPEN, that is (Online Platform for Education) mode from 2015-16 for all learners interested in acquiring additional skills. This will enable our students and teachers obtain quality education at a fraction of the cost while solving the issue of access to higher education in remotest areas of our country. It will also help overcome the faculty shortage which is constantly a constraint in almost all our institutions.

The Government along with the Indian Banks Association is also revising guidelines for ensuring financial support to each potential student so that no one is denied of higher education. This will empower meritorious students from low income groups benefit from quality education available at premier institutes such as yours. 

Management solutions are applicable to all domains. IIMs can partner with IITs and identify research goalposts that may have larger social relevance. While IITs could provide technical solutions for the same, IIMs can make available their managerial expertise. I am happy to know that IIM Raipur has partnered All India Institute of Medical Sciences in a novel initiative to develop programs in healthcare management. I am also glad that the centers for excellence planned at IIM Raipur are meant to address socially relevant problems, such as Resource Management, Energy Management, Disaster Management, Accreditation and Education, Healthcare Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Management. 

Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our academic institutes have to be dynamic and hands-on in facing emerging challenges. Students today, far from being passive recipients of education imparted by the teachers, are active demand centres gradually seeking to re-define knowledge requirement. Institutions of higher education have to promote a culture of excellence and develop core competencies. They have to expand capacity to cater to more students and at the same time uphold the quality of instruction. They have to resort to technology tools like e-classrooms and knowledge to enable sharing of ideas and intellectual resources like lectures and tutorials. We must also be pro-active in developing a management research culture in the country for which IIMs need to collaborate with best of institutions in the world. 

The students of today would be engaged in their lifetime in jobs that perhaps do not exist today. They have to be taught critical skills and transferable competencies. They have to be infused with qualities of creative-thinking and problem-solving. They have to be encouraged in their quest to unearth the hidden and to experience joy in discovering the unknown. They have to be trained to possess a universal mindset to enable them interact in the melting pot of the globalized world.


Research and innovation is the cornerstone of any academic endeavour. Their spin-offs could be large and immensely beneficial to wide spectrum of the society. It is innovation due to which industrial enterprises show high growth momentum and keep themselves ahead of their competitors. As per a 2014 international survey, there are only five Indian firms amongst the world’s hundred most innovative companies. We have to strive harder. Our academic institutions and industry have to engage with one another and benefit mutually from partnerships in joint research, curriculum development and setting up of chairs, incubation centres and research parks.

IIMs must assume greater responsibility for overall development and mitigation of problems concerning our society, community and nation at large. The faculty in IIMs should provide consultancy for policy and project implementation challenges that both Union and State Governments face. Graduates from IIMs should take up projects of relevance to the people of the state and try start companies and corporation which would contribute to the economic development of the area.

Friends, Members of the faculty, students,

The Government has launched many important initiatives like Swachh Bharat Mission, Beti Bachao - Beti Padhao, Jan-Dhan Yojana, Make-in-India, Ease of Doing Business, Clean Ganga campaign etc. A concerted and determined effort to renew India, bolstered by ideas and imagination of a premier institution like IIM Raipur can help our nation realize Gandhiji’s dream of a Swachh and Samarth Bharat.

Let me congratulate all the graduating students on their success and achievement. Convocation signifies the culmination of the phase of formal education. It also symbolizes the beginning of a new journey where the knowledge you have gained and the skills you have acquired will be put to sterner test. You will achieve success but at times you may face adversity. It is in mitigating those trying circumstances that you will prove your mettle. Your discipline, commitment and determination will help you navigate through difficult terrain.

Remember that leaving this academic world does not mean you stop learning as there is knowledge to be gained everywhere and almost everyday from life. Life rewards those who engage in life-long learning. I request the student community of IIM Raipur to always keep in mind the fact that this wonderful education you have received is a contribution of the nation, state and community. The nation invests in its Institutions and Universities because students are our future. Students, in turn, have an important responsibility, not just to themselves and their families but also to this country and the community as whole. I am confident that the students who have earned their degrees today will take part in nation-building of this great country in a meaningful way.

The youth of our country are the future stewards of this nation and inheritors of a glorious civilization. As we march towards becoming a developed nation, each one of you can play an important role in our progress. If the targets of eradication of poverty, health for all, education for all, power for all and higher living standards for all are to be achieved in the near future, it is our youth who must rise to the challenge. Strive hard not only to achieve your goals but also to make this country a better place for everyone who lives here.

I wish you a bright career and fulfilling life ahead.

Thank you.

Jai Hind.