INDORE: Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani gave the country a new slogan on Tuesday to replace Indira Gandhi’s 35-year-old garibi hatao Amiri badhao (enhance prosperity), Ambani said to loud applause from students, educationists, and industrialists at a function to dedicate the Indian Institute of Management, Indore, to the nation.
Ambani spoke extensively of the need to integrate global themes into Indian management education to achieve this goal. He said there is an urgent need to forge a grand partnership between business, education, ethics, politics, and social sciences to increase prosperity.
Union Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh, who sparked a row last week by turning down an IIM-Bangalore proposal to set up a campus in Singapore, did not turn up for the function owing to “unavoidable circumstances”. In his absence industrialist Baba Kalyani, chairman of IIM-I, presided.
Ambani said the 20th century generated wealth on an unprecedented scale but also created vast economic disparity. “This model is no longer sustainable. The 21st century must combine creation of wealth with eradication of poverty. It is no longer necessary that a large number of people remain poor so that a few may become rich.”
While Ambani skirted the row about IIMs going overseas, he appeared to favour the move. “Globalisation means management education must be inclusive of students from overseas and it must incorporate faculty with global exposure,” he said. “We could experiment with multiple campuses, distribute campuses through e-learning, and on-site campuses.”
Later, Ambani told DNA that Reliance could think of opening its own university or business school on the lines of the Motorola and IBM training institutes in the US.