IIM Indore celebrated the 72nd Independence Day on August 15, 2018 with full enthusiasm and fervour. The event began with the flag hoisting by Professor Rishikesha T. Krishnan, Director, IIM Indore and Col. Gururaj Gopinath Pamidi (Retd.), CAO, IIM Indore.
This was followed by the National Anthem, which resonated with pride across the walls of the academic block. Professor Krishnan then delivered the Independence Day address and highlighted two diverse but important issues. The first was the importance of protecting our personal data and the second was the big changes happening in business organizations.
He noted that with the emerging technologies and frequent use of mobile devices and internet, we leave a digital footprint without even realising it when we allow location-based services to track our movements. ‘As some recent events involving a prominent social media platform indicate, our personal data has commercial value. When a commercial entity shares our data without our permission, this can compromise our privacy’, he noted.
He mentioned that in the previous year, Supreme Court of India provided a legal basis for protecting our privacy by recognising privacy as part of the fundamental rights of citizens under the Indian Constitution. As a follow up to this, the Government of India set up a committee headed by Justice BN Srikrishna to propose a data protection framework for India. Professor Krishnan was a member of this committee. He said that the report submitted by the committee included a strong consent framework under which every entity that collects data from an individual has to explicitly state for what purpose the data will be used and take that individual’s consent again if it wants to use it for a different purpose. It cannot retain the data once the purpose and timeframe of its use are over. A Data Protection Authority is proposed to be set up to look into complaints and take action against those violating individuals’ trust and privacy.
He noted that although these provisions are only proposals, the Government will, in due course, after consultations, have to introduce legislation in parliament to make a data protection framework part of the law.
‘In our interconnected world safeguarding personal data is integral to our personal independence. Till such time as a data protection law is enacted, I urge you to take precautions to ensure safety of your personal data so as to protect yourself from possibly being exploited by others’, he said.
He then discussed about productivity and changes in production process, and also shared how these changes reduce the need for labour in manufacturing. ‘In recent years, the latest trend is artificial intelligence and machine learning. While the initial attempts to make machines think like humans failed, today machines learn using data and self-correcting algorithms based on fuzzy logic and neural networks. These new paradigms are at the core of emerging technologies like driverless vehicles and intelligent drones. These developments have the potential to alter life and business in fundamental ways’, he said.
He said that every management function – human resource management, operations, finance and marketing – is today actively studying how these technological changes can be harnessed for better effectiveness. ‘As one of the leading management institutions in the country, I hope we can be at the forefront of understanding these trends and including them in our curriculum and courses of study’, he concluded.
The event concluded with high tea for everyone.