Inaugural Address to PGEMP Batch 66

Inaugural address to PGEMP Batch 65
November 26, 2018
From the Dean’s Desk – 9 June
November 26, 2018

Feb 26, 2018

Respected Chief Guest, Faculty members, the PGEMP team and last but not the least the new batch of PGEMP.

Feb 26, 2018

Respected Chief Guest, Faculty members, the PGEMP team and last but not the least the new batch of PGEMP. Welcome to SPJIMR. You must first give yourself a round of applause because you have sat in an interview after a very long time.

SPJIMR is a part of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan was started in 1938 by K M Munshi. K M Munshi was a Gandhian. As India become Independent and merged more with the world, you would need an Institute to keep the Indian values alive and relevant.

The larger role of BVB is to maintain the currency of Indian thoughts, values and culture. BVB has 106 centers in India. It has six centers across the world and in a year at a point in time around 300000 students are studying across all the institutes.

There are two statements that we talk about. One is that let noble truths come from every side. And the next is that the world is one family. And I will tell you how we take these statements in our institute. We believe that you can learn from any human being. By virtue of the fact that you are in this room you are well qualified and successful and you will become more successful. A large part of this success is due to hard work.

The next concept is about gratitude. When someone comes to you and ask for money whether you give or no is a larger issue but you could easily be that person. I could easily be that person. You are fortunate that you were brought up in a family that could afford to pay for your education. This is one very fundamental thing that keeps us humble. The second element is that of respect. What does respect mean? Respect means that irrespective of position or stature people deserve to be respected. I don’t know how many of you have seen Munnabhai MBBS two? But the larger point is what he has said is that the test of character is of how people behave with for instance a waiter at the restaurant? Or maid at home? How people behave when they have power. Character is something that we do when nobody is watching.

The worls is one family is a larger piece that says that society and human beings become insecure. We tend to label people and have biases against people who are different. The extreme version of this is supposing I tell you that a tall gentleman with a dark beard and a white sherwani walked into an aircraft carrying a black briefcase. You might not say anything but your thoughts immediately create a bias. There are many biases we have which are deep seated. We tend to label people and becoming aware of our own biases and not seeing the differences between people but looking at people with an open mind. We must learn to look at the commonalities first. This is a country where festivals have not been religious but community festivals. And that spirit of inclusiveness and commonality is important.

How does it link to our education? As an institute we talk about influencing practice and value based growth. You will see this embedded in the curriculum but also in Knowledge, Skills and Attitude. We will talk about Knowledge, Skills and Attitude also as a personal tribute through an example of the movie English Vinglish. We lost a great actress yesterday. In the movie Sridevi is a housewife whose children and husband do not respect her because she does not speak English. She goes to the United States, helps her family out and learns English on her own. Learning English is acquiring knowledge. Knowledge is a new set of facts or information that can help you to do something. Knowledge in itself is of no use without the accompanying skill. If you know English and you cannot write it or speak it or you cannot use the right words at the right time

then knowledge is of no use. And what was the skill? She was able to take the knowledge that she had learnt to speak in public but to say the write things to the write people at the right time.

The first aspect of attitude is growth in ourselves. The second aspect of attitude is the respect that she got from her family members. The interesting dimension of attitude is that we must respect our self before we get others to respect us. You will Knowledge, Skills and Attitude at heart of all our programmes. Any subject or deliverables that we have, we break it up into these three.

You are back to school. There are two ways of looking at it. You are back to being a student. If you want to become a lifelong learner you have to be a student for life. And you have not been a student for the last five to ten years. We say that people have ten years of experience. And I wonder whether it is one year of experience repeated ten times. The true learning only comes from reflecting on experience.

I did my PhD at 39 when I had two kids aged two and six. And I moved from a job to being a student. I really envy you. That is nothing like going back into a classroom and giving yourself time to learn. Enjoy and savour the time.

I asked for feedback from the students once on which was the best session and the answer was unanimous. It was the coffee break. This doesn’t mean that the session was not interesting. After each session the students wanted to go out and discuss to internalise and reflect. Do not filter knowledge but hold it for three to four months. Peer learning through conversations will help you to learn and grow to move to the next level. Be a student not for 21 months but for life.