IIM Indore was delighted to host the Chargé d’Affaires, Ambassador A. Elizabeth Jones of the U.S. Embassy India, on campus on Wednesday, 22 February, 2023. This prominent visit comprised a meeting with Ambassador Jones and her team with Prof. Himanshu Rai, Director, IIM Indore, and the Deans of the institute.
Attending this meeting virtually from Cairo, Egypt, Prof. Rai, Director, IIM Indore, welcomed Ambassador Jones and her team and shared the various initiatives undertaken by the institute. Prof. Rai highlighted IIM Indore’s efforts to identify and address significant national challenges, including income inequality, rural and urban issues, lack of mentorship for entrepreneurs, and environmental concerns. To tackle income inequality, IIM Indore helps economically weaker sections promote and market their novel products. At the same time, the Rural Engagement Programme immerses students in rural areas to understand and propose solutions to problems. IIM Indore also offers a General Management Programme for Executives to enhance managerial skills and mentorship to MSMEs. “The institute received a grant of Rs. 19.95 crores from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to establish a Centre of Excellence for effective waste management and water sanitation. Collaboration with foreign partner institutions, including universities such as the University of Denver, Rutgers University, the University of Glasgow, Bocconi University and the University of Liverpool will enable the institute to achieve these goals”, Prof. Rai explained. He expressed optimism for further collaboration with other prestigious academic institutions in the USA to create a more inclusive, just, and equitable world.
Ambassador Jones expressed her delight over the institution’s cordial environment, commenting on the soothing greenery of the campus and the remarkable hospitality extended to her and her team. She underscored the significant role that collaborative efforts between the United States and India could play in contributing to academia and research, noting that cooperation with Indian institutions had consistently yielded fruitful results for the United States of America. Ambassador Jones cited the upcoming G20 event in India as a promising platform for identifying opportunities for further collaboration and mutual growth between the two nations. She mentioned a meeting with the Security Advisor of India at the White House, and that the discussion revolved around how both nations should come together and work on areas related to academics, research, and knowledge sharing. “A lot of advancement in collaboration in terms of technology and resource sharing can also be done as has been suggested from the White House”, she said. Ambassador Jones appreciated IIM Indore’s interest in identifying potential collaborator institutes from the USA.
The participants from the IPM, PGPHRM, and FPM programmes at IIMI also got a chance to interact with Ambassador Jones. She spoke on the topic – ‘Bilateral Trade Relations Between the United States and India and the evolving nature of bilateral trade in goods and services between both the nations’. “This bilateral trade generated a revenue of $133 billion in 2022 – a significant increase from the previous year. This was possible primarily due to the shared interests of India and the USA and their shared values on democracy”, she said. She also briefly touched upon initiatives such as the QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) and the Indo-Pacific Strategy. She opined that the success of these bilateral dialogues would depend on government, industry, and academic partnerships. Further, she highlighted the increasing participation of Indian students in US universities – the 200,000-strong cohort of Indian students was the second-largest student cohort in the country. Despite this trend, she noted that women comprised only 37% of the cohort. Subsequently, she requested all the participants to actively work towards creating inclusive workplaces and providing more opportunities to women when they become business leaders.
The students asked pertinent questions about how bilateral relations address sustainability, cryptocurrency, and manufacturing. Prof. Prabin Panigrahi, Dean – Faculty, IIM Indore, presented the vote of thanks.