“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.”
– William H. Gas
ALUMNI RENDEZVOUS WITH LSD’S “HUMANS OF IIM-A”
Indeed, writers are blessed to be able to shape their visions into beautiful words which have the capacity to leave a mark on others, sometimes indelibly so! This belief got reaffirmed when the Literary Symposium Desk – the official club for debating, writing, and quizzing at IIM-A – got an opportunity to collaborate with a few of the finest authors from the IIM-A PGP batch of 1993.
A humble community of about 10 members spread across the country, they never had to struggle to find a reason to stay connected. They already had one – writing – which has united this group for the last 28 years. Following on their simple and supposedly naïve hobby of writing, these exemplars have turned out to be a few of the finest authors of the country. Spanning across myriad genres of business, fiction, fantasy, politics etc., their work has been widely celebrated with some of the publications immortalizing themselves as best-sellers.
Team LSD was fortunate to be able to have an opportunity to interact with a few members of this brilliant community. One of them was Prof. Apurv Nagpal (visiting faculty at IIM Ahmedabad), who fondly recounted the group’s achievements and how they have grown together over the years. This mere recollection was a catalyst in reminding us of the enigma of IIM-A – one’s friendships and relationships here are oftentimes a microcosm of the wonderful journey lying ahead.
We were instantly convinced that this was a story which everyone should hear. For all its aspirational value and warmth, the IIM-A community deserved to hear this. We invited two of the authors, Mr. Rajesh Chakrabarti and Prof. Apurv Nagpal, for a brief interaction under the aegis of Humans of IIM Ahmedabad. For the uninitiated, Humans of IIM-Ahmedabad is an initiative of LSD to provide a platform for the heart-rendering stories of WIMWIANS to reach the larger community. The Instagram page (Handle Name: @HumansOfIIMA) has shared the transformational journeys of a few of the gems of IIM-A – Prof. Chitra Singla, Prof. Arvind Sahay, Prof. Subhadip Roy, Rambhai and Bhavesh Bhai (vendors who have literally aged alongside the campus and share a familial bond with the students).
During our interaction with Prof. Nagpal and Mr. Chakrabarti, the latter remarked, “Unconventional career? It’s a balance between what needs to be done and what you absolutely want to do”. The passion with which these gentlemen expressed themselves was overwhelming. The conversation grappled around various topics pertaining to the unconventional career trajectories, their motivations for opting writing as the professional choice, their times at IIM-A, among other things.
Colloquially, the conversation was a crash-course in itself, where we realised that words have a certain captivating power to themselves. Those who are able to master them are also able to master their readers. The same applies to this accomplished duo, who have weathered the odds to emerge paragons in their respective fields. Team LSD is enthused to extend its association with these authors in the future and hopefully, integrate them with the current student batches.
As I write the above, a realisation dawns upon me. Just like these authors, there would be several other unsung heroes produced by IIM-A, who are extraordinary in themselves and in their pursuits. Their odysseys have the potential to rekindle a new kind of ambition in the current batches – an ambition to do the unordinary by simply being themselves. After all, WIMWIANS are well-versed with the mantra of not being another brick in the wall.
LSD is an embodiment of these sentiments, as it strives to be an enabler to the members of the community to express themselves. With its various endeavours, LSD hopes to engage meaningfully with the different factions of the IIM-A family and bring all of them closer together in the process.
PUBLIC POLICY CLUB
The Public Policy Club of IIM-Ahmedabad broadly strives to foster interest in the public policy domain, advocacy and democratic reforms. The Club majorly provides a platform for expressing views and opinions freely, along with facilitating the opportunity for interested individuals to work on live projects. Additionally, the Club helps in guiding individuals from the IIMA community to shape and lead their careers in the sector.
RECENT INITIATIVES: Over the past nine months, the club had focused on addressing various public issues such as CAA, migration amidst COVID-19, changed labor laws, etc. through editorials, speaker sessions, debates, events, and policy briefs.
Speakers Sessions Cell: Organizes speaker sessions by inviting eminent personalities from diverse backgrounds
This year, the cell has kick-started the flagship speaker series “Manthan” which saw prominent personalities such as Mr. Suresh Prabhu, Dr. Kumar Vishwas, Adv. J Sai Deepak, Dr. Ashok Khemka, Mr. Milind Deora, and Mrs. Smriti Irani as speakers. The topics of the sessions varied from understanding the Indian bureaucratic system to understanding the Indic perspective. Apart from this, the speaker cell has also conducted a session on CAA with Mr. Gautam Bhatia and Prof. Sarthak Bagchi. The cell has also conducted a panel discussion on the issue of migration workers with our three esteemed Professors – Prof. Ankur Sarin, Prof. Chinmay Tumbe and Prof. Ernesto Noronha.
Editorial Cell: Primarily deals with writing/managing all the published articles and newsletters by the Club.
It has penned down multiple thought provoking articles on our official Medium blog. The topics were diverse, including data protection laws, ideal response model against Covid-19, legalizing same-sex marriages. To facilitate the views and opinions expression for IIMA community, the cell has launched “LKP Musings”, under which articles from individuals of IIMA community were invited and published on our official blog. Currently, to aid the placement preparation of PGP1s, the cell is publishing a weekly news digest named as “The Policy Chronicle”.
Live Projects Cell: Responsible for bringing in live projects and monitoring their progress
The Cell has collaborated with Prof. Chinmay Tumbe to publish the policy brief regarding the lessons to be learned for African nations from India’s lockdown amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, the cell is working with the IDF, which is in collaboration with the Karnataka state government, regarding the scope of improvements in the state’s rural policies.
Events Cell: Responsible for organizing various events such as Vidyarthi Adda, Case Study Competitions, Model United Nations, and more
The Cell has conducted its flagship student debate series “Vidyarthi Adda” and the debate issues varied from CAA to politics in the universities of India. The cell has also been involved in conducting quizzes on current affairs and general policy awareness. The cell has also led the first of its kind event “Mock NITI Aayog” organized in collaboration with TRBS, IIM Ahmedabad. Mock NITI Aayog is an Indian version of the classical MUN.
Apart from all the above initiatives, the Club is involved in launching the Inter B-School Policy Case Competition in collaboration with premier management institutes such as IIM Bangalore, IIM Lucknow, and ISB.
[VIRASAT x FSI] IIMA HERITAGE DISCUSSION
A Unique Celebration of Teacher’s Day 2020
Virasat – The Heritage Club of IIM Ahmedabad organized the IIMA Heritage Virtual Discussion event on Teachers Day (5th September 2020), in collaboration with Faculty-Student Interaction Club. Four of IIMA’s beloved professors – Prof Vijaya Sherry Chand, Prof Rakesh Basant, Prof Navdeep Mathur, and Prof Chinmay Tumbe graced the event by their presence. The event was mediated by Kartik Rohilla, a student from PGP-FABM (Batch 2). Over 45 students and IIMA community members participated in the event.
Written by: Kartik Rohilla, Harshita Gupta (1st year) and Likhita Gurugubelli.
Club coordinator: Virasat – Ambiga Devi, FSI – Chakradhar Reddy
Professor Vijaya Sherry Chand, alumni (PGP-SPA 1982) and Professor of IIMA, initiated the discussion with a presentation talking about the time when the Institute was set up. He set the stage for the discussion by showing the struggles and never-ending will power of the people like Vikram Sarabhai, Kasturbhai Lalbhai, Jivraj Mehta, and Ravi J Matthai (who became the first Director of the Institute), to set up the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He also shared the historic images and documents with the audience through a presentation, that helped them imagine the scenario at the time of the establishment of Institute.
The Professor talked about the contribution of the Ford Foundation for the initial boost for setting up the management institute and the contribution of Harvard University for providing world-class teaching methodology for the Institute. Dr Kamla Chowdhry joined Vikram Sarabhai, and the Institute was set up in 1961. Then to understand case-based pedagogy and best practices in teaching, they decided to send a few of the faculty to Harvard under the International Teachers Programme, and Prof Dwijendra Tripathi was one of them.
The Professor talked about how the founding members rented the buildings for some years and the founding ceremony at the Atira Auditorium, which stands right across the current campus. The first program that was set up in the Institute was the executive program. However, the core members of the Institute wanted to start the PGP program as soon as possible, and images from the presentation also showed the internal meeting taking place at the bungalow at Shahibaug, which was the first office of the Indian Institute of Management. The audience of the discussion was awestruck by some facts like how the Institute’s motto was set up by organizing an internal competition, and the academic activities were shifted to the Red Brick Campus in 1966.
Prof Rakesh Basant shared about different types of practices followed in IIMA’s dorm culture. He gave us many facts on the campus like, Dorm 12 was the first dorm to be established on campus. He also told how and why activities like T-Nite, Induction Week were initiated and how they helped in the students’ bonding. He also expressed his views on how Hoax Week was started to help prepare incoming students for the academic rigor at IIMA.
Prof Navdeep Mathur shared with us the history and current happenings in the Jawaja Project – a project initiated by Prof Ravi Matthai (1975), where student volunteers from IIM Ahmedabad and the National Institute of Design (NID) joined with local artisans and craftsmen of about 200 villages in Rajasthan, for the formulation and implementation of sustainable livelihood options to the artisans to overcome social, environmental and political challenges.
Prof Chinmay Tumbe, one of the founding members of IIMA Archives, talked about the process and reason behind its establishment, the importance of knowing the organization’s history, and how IIMA Archives work towards it. He also emphasized how IIMA gives significance in portraying its heritage, history and culture by contrasting it with other organisations. He also emphasized that everyone should be aware of their organization’s history, which helps them know where they come from and where to grow.
After that, the student-professor interactive discussion started. Many exciting questions on IIMA’s heritage were asked by the audience to the professors like when and how Frisbee became the sport of IIMA, the history behind the establishment of the role of Academic Associates in IIMA and their involvement in the academic activities, etc. These questions were answered by the professors which helped us in knowing more interesting facts on IIMA Heritage. The event was enriching and helped us understand a lot about our campus and its heritage – through our beloved Professors on the Teacher’s Day this year.
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