For the first time, a conclave – “Convergence” – was organized by ninth batch of IIMA’s Armed Forces Programme. The event took place on 15th February 2014 at the KLMDC Conference Hall. Themed around “Nation Building through Ethics and Enterprise”, eminent speakers from the government and industry shared their perspectives with the audience in the one day-long event. Faculty members and students of the institution along with 64 participants of Armed Forces Program (AFP) attended the conclave.
The event was inaugurated by Prof Arvind Sahay , Dean, Alumni and External relations. He said that he hoped that this first edition would set precedence for the coming AFP batches. Mrs Rita Teaotia, IAS, Additional Secretary, DoT felicitated the discussion which revolved around the need to codify “Ethics” and how legality will strengthen the ethical stand of organizations.
The conclave, held over a day, had two panel discussions. The first session, ‘Bridging the Gap through Technology and Innovation’ had Mr. MV Kotwal, Member-Board, L&T and President, Heavy Engineering, L&T, Lt Gen(Retd) AK Chandele, Ex DGEME, Indian Army, Mr. JS Kochar, Executive Director, (n)Code Solutions and Prof Anil Gupta, Founder, Honeybee Network as panelists. Prof Arvind Sahay while delivering the inaugural address hoped that the conclave will set a precedence for the coming AFP batches to follow and looked forward to insightful and interesting discussions. Mrs Rita Teaotia mentioned the need to codify ethics. She said legality will strengthen the ethical stand of organisations and citizens. Mr MV Kotwal found the topic relevant but difficult to put in words. He started of with examples like Aadhar and geospatial communications and their many applications. He elaborated on how indigenous technology and innovation resulted in marvels in the strategic sectors of nuclear, defence and aerospace and gave examples of innovation at work in L&T. He also hoped that the public-private equipment sourcing equilibrium tilts from existing 70-30 to 30-70. Lt Gen AKS Chandele, starting on a lighter note, said, he was told very early on in his military career ” Anything moving, salute it and anything standing, paint it.”Speaking on “Bridging the gap through technology and innovation”, he spoke on how the Indian Army’s Technology Centres were fostering innovation at a divisional level.He also addressed the need for modernisation of the equipment of Indian Army. Prof Anil Gupta conducted the panel discussion flawlessly and was able to successfully steer the course to an extremely insightful and educational discourse.
The second panel discussion saw a mélange of speakers starting with Mr Ravi Saxena, IAS (Retd), Ex Addl Secy, Gujarat Government, Mr. KV Viswanathan, Additional Solicitor General, Govt of India, Mr. RS Sodhi, MD, GCMMF and Mr. Nayan Parikh, CEO, Nayan Parikh & Consultants, sharing their views on ‘Ethics in Governance’. The second panel discussion saw a melange of speakers, starting with MrRS Sodhi who spoke on the value systems at AMUL, set in place by Dr.Verghese Kurien and how he selected employees based on their integrity. He said AMUL was born because of the social unrest caused by unethical practices of Polson dairy.Mr KV Viswanthan gave an insight into corporate governance and about how many clauses in the companies act 2013 were codification of ethical practices. He asked a pertinent question ” Is ethics doing what is right or doing what is right for you”. Mr Ravi Saxena elaborated on corruption, its types and its causes. He gave some amazing statistics about the extent of corruption in the modern world. He also brought out references from Upanishads, the Holy Bible and Kautilya’s Arthashastra which talk about governance and its role in a prosperous and peaceful society. Summing it up, Mr Nayan Parikh, the moderator said that ethics is for each individual to decipher and act upon and every individual irrespective of the legality does know right from wrong. He also said that governance should create a framework where the practice of ethics is encouraged and it gradually the ethical way becomes the only way to live your life.
The discussion was enlightening and witnessed exemplary speakers who shared their opinions and experiences. It covered a wide canvas of topics that included empowerment through technology and innovation, self-reliance, institutional reforms to improve transparency in corporate governance and nation building through public-private partnerships.
Kudos to the AFP team for a successful event!