Greetings! I trust you and your loved ones are safe and healthy in these difficult times.
As in other parts of the country and the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the normal activities at the Institute as well. The PGPX programme this year had to be launched online and their classes are still being held in the same mode. The inauguration for the new batch of the doctoral programme was also organized online on June 30th. The second year MBA classes will begin on July 6th but at least for the first few weeks, the classes will be held online. The new batch of MBA will also have a delayed start. As of now, the classes are expected to begin in early August and that too online to begin with. Executive education programmes have been suspended or rescheduled if they required physical presence of participants. The campus is almost empty with all students away except those in the doctoral programme and some others. It is virtually impossible to predict how the future will unfold. But both faculty and students have to slowly get used to online teaching. We will need to continuously experiment to find new ways to make teaching sessions as engaging and meaningful as they were during the pre-Covid days.
In these challenging times, the IIMA community has made us proud by actively engaging in relief activities as well as in analytical debates around the pandemic. Faculty members have actively written about various issues around the pandemic and have contributed to better understanding of the issues. Alumni have been involved in many impact making endeavours to provide relief and support those who have been adversely affected by the pandemic. Current students have also done their bit. This issues carries some stories to capture this spirit of giving and the experiences of alumni and others in the IIMA community. We live in very uncertain times but I am sure all of you are doing your bit in dealing with the crisis, especially for those who need our help the most. We feel proud of your contributions to meet this enormous challenge.
As always, re-unions provided wonderful opportunities to interact with the alumni of different batches. In all, three reunions were organized this time, all of which were held on campus. The number of reunions was low this year as we corrected the years of reunions for a few batches. In some cases, batches were calculating their year of reunion on the basis of the year of entry into IIMA instead of using the year of passing out. In all, about 235 alumni participated in these reunions with their families. The issue provides a peep into these reunions. We look forward to welcoming the 1970 batch in March 2020. Apart from participating in the convocation, the batch has planned an event filled reunion.
The batch that passed out this year could not experience the warmth, ceremony and majesty of the convocation. It is not clear as of now if we will be able to celebrate their passing out in the near future. The team of Dean (AER)’s office was not even able to meet and interact with the outgoing batch but we hope to get an opportunity soon.
I am happy to report that the idea of Alumni Special Interest Groups (SIGs) is slowly taking root and many of them are organising a variety of activities to enhance the engagement with alumni. This issue reports on some of these activities.
Your Alma Mater created a benchmark by launching on June 23rd, the first Endowment Fund by a management school in India. The Fund has been seeded with a commitment of INR 100 crores by Founding Alumni Members. We hope to raise INR. 1000 crores over a period of five years. Under the guidance of the IIMA Board of Governors, the endowment fund will be managed by an independent Endowment Committee consisting of initial alumni contributors and the Director and Dean (Alumni and External Relations – AER) of IIMA, in their ex-officio capacity. The setting up of the endowment would not only add significantly to its autonomy but will also enable IIMA to make a larger impact in the field of education, entrepreneurial leadership, management practice and public policy. I am really hopeful that the independent and transparent structure of the Fund will help IIMA engage more actively with its alumni and provide them with a platform to meaningfully participate in shaping the future of their alma mater.
I really hope that my next editorial would be written in more ‘normal’ times. Meanwhile please stay safe and healthy. Please take good care of yourself and your loved ones.
Professor of Economics
Dean, Alumni and External Relations