- IIM Indore hosts its international partner, University of Glasgow team, on campus for three days
- As a part of the G20 Presidency, IIM Indore becomes the host to the Smith Around the Globe JointlyLecture Series to be conducted in 20 nations
- India becomes the first one to host the series
As a part of India getting the G20 Presidency, the Indian Institute of Management Indore (IIM Indore) will organize and collaborate with multiple partners, national and international, for several events. As a kick-off event, the institute is celebrating the 300th birth year of Adam Smith, the Father of Economics, with its international partner, the University of Glasgow. The institute had signed an MoU with the University of Glasgow, the fourth oldest university in the UK, in August 2022 to offer various joint programmes and dual degree programmes, and is now collaborating on multiple fronts.
Strengthening its relationship with the partner university, IIM Indore hosted the University of Glasgow’s team on campus from January 09-11, 2023. Apart from several insightful and brainstorming interactions with IIM Indore Director Prof. Himanshu Rai, the team also networked with the deans and chairs of various programmes. They discussed various initiatives that the institutions could plan as a part of the MoU and contribute to strengthening the India and UK relationship. The doctoral candidates of IIM Indore also got a chance to interact with the team and had some enriching discussions about the job opportunities at the university.
As part of celebrating the 300th birth year of Adam Smith, who also happens to be an alumnus of the University of Glasgow, the very first lecture series, titled ‘Smith Around the Globe Lecture Series’, was held at IIM Indore on January 10, 2023. The series is to be conducted in 20 nations, and thus, this event being held at IIM Indore made India the first nation to organize this event.
The series was inaugurated by Prof. Himanshu Rai, Director, IIM Indore. The series witnessed Dr. V Anantha Nageswaran, the Chief Economic Advisor of the Government of India, interacting with the community online. The scintillating galaxy of speakers included Dr. John Finch, Professor of Marketing and Head – Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow; Prof. Alex Thomas, School of Arts and Science, Azim Premji University; and Prof. Subhasankar Chattopadhyay, IIM Indore.
In his inaugural address, Prof. Himanshu Rai mentioned the five-point agenda, the ‘Panchamrit’, presented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the National Statement at the COP26 Summit held at Glasgow. He mentioned that similar to the Panchamrit pledge, IIM Indore had identified five areas of its contribution to Nation Building in 2019, and had determined to resolve the challenges in these areas. “We aim to create, curate, practice, and disseminate knowledge that solves real-world problems. These include income inequality, rural issues, urban management problems, environmental and sustainability challenges, and need for fostering entrepreneurship culture.” ‘Globalization has led to an increase in income inequality, and thus, IIM Indore is helping the state government in its One District One Product programme to boost vocal for local. He said we also conduct various financial literacy workshops for women. Sharing that the Rural Engagement Programme of IIM Indore gives the students a platform to live in the villages, understand the challenges of the rural residents, and find solutions to their problems, which then enables students to learn from grassroot experiences. This is important, as nearly 833 million people in India live in the rural areas, and we need to address their problems which are much different than in urban areas’, he said.
Regarding the traffic management problems in the urban areas, Prof. Rai mentioned that IIM Indore has also submitted a report to the Madhya Pradesh Government to help them revamp the traffic management system and work on ways to reduce the number of road accidents. ‘IIM Indore is also establishing a Centre of Excellence focusing on WASH – Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, and will train 4800 ULBs across the nation, in association with its international partners, to strengthen the system. He said that one of our partner universities in this initiative is the University of Glasgow. He added that the Centre of Excellence would also incubate the startups focusing on WASH.
Dr. V. Anantha Nageswaran spoke about the relevance of Adam Smith in today’s world. He noted that while the economies would never entirely rely on market forces wherein there’s perfect competition or a balance between producers and sellers ‘To that extent, Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand fulfills the conditions of being a perfect economic theory that helps in analyzing the real world or a cherished goal that may be practically attainable’. He said there might be politics without economics, but there’s no economics without politics. ‘Economics cannot be taken out of its context. It differs from physical science in that respect. Laws of science are immutable, but economic theories are a function of the context in which they operate – and this is why Adam Smith’s theories are relevant even today’, he remarked.
Dr. John Finch, speaking about ‘Adam Smith’s Agencies and Soft Powers’, shared how Smith’s efficiency in making a difference, making decisions, and thought processes and actions are powers that look remarkably soft. Smith’s exciting views on education, state-funded education, and fee-paying vocational education to shape the curricula have also transformed the modern education system. ‘As a citizen, Smith went beyond the education sector and contributed to several social reforms, including the division of labour. He remains an inspiration for us all, even today’, he said.
Prof. Alex Thomas discussed about Adam Smith and Classical Political Economy. He said that Adam Smith’s concepts are usually misinterpreted today; thus, it is essential to understand the context in which Smith wrote his concepts. For this, it is imperative to pay attention to the intellectual landscape of economics today, which is predominantly understood as a supply and demand approach only. He mentioned that Smith believed education has to be publicly supported and that it is the key to moral and social benefits. ‘Smith emphasized that education enables a person to gain wisdom, understand moral sentiments and help a person gain self-respect’, Prof. Thomas explained.
Prof. Subhasankar Chattopadhyay talked about Smith’s Invisible Hand and the Price Theory. He discussed how the concept of the Invisible Hand emerged and how it promoted an end that was not intended. ‘It is crucial to resolve the tension between efficiency and equity. While efficiency focuses on no wastage, equity depends on the diversity of people who are intrinsically different and want to be different and is defined in terms of income, consumption, wealth, and opportunities’, he said.
Dr. Xiang Li, Head of the Life-long Learning and International Development Office, also interacted with the IIM Indore community. She expressed her delight in visiting IIM Indore. She gave a quick overview of the University of Glasgow, its initiatives, and its connection with Adam Smith. Prof. Pritam Ranjan, Dean – Research, IIM Indore, delivered the vote of thanks. The entire IIM Indore community attended the event, including faculty, students, and staff.
The three-day visit of the University of Glasgow team was a fruitful one, and had Dr. Belgin Okay-Somerville and Dr. Nuran Acur, apart from the aforementioned team members, as the guests of IIM Indore. IIM Indore looks forward to hosting its other foreign collaborators and conducting various events as a part of the G20 Presidency in the coming days.