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Last Updated: May 17, 2007 - 8:46:52 AM
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Ensure inclusive economic growth: Montek
Apr 7, 2007 - 3:08:48 PM
ISB offers a one-year post-graduate programme; short duration, high powered executive education programmes for CEOs and senior executives; and a two-year research fellowship programme.

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[RxPG] Hyderabad, April 7 - Echoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a top Indian economist reiterated here Saturday that the country could achieve sustained nine percent economic growth, even as he cautioned that the benefits of this should be inclusive and filter down to all sections of the population.

Delivering the convocation address at the Indian School of Business - here, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said that the 'biggest challenge' before economists would be their ability to cope with the change that high economic growth would bring about.

IBS, which is associated with the Kellogg School of Management, the Wharton School, and the London Business School, is a research oriented independent management institution that grooms future leaders for India and the world. A little over 400 students, a majority of them with five to six years of managerial experience, received their post-graduate diplomas at the convocation.

Noting that when the reforms process began in the early 1990s many doubted whether this would translate into economic growth, Ahluwalia said this issue had now been addressed but a different kind of 'criticism' had arisen.

'We know the recipe. But will it be inclusive enough and reach every part of the country in equal measure? Thus, our focus is on faster and more inclusive growth,' Ahluwalia said while referring to a subject that is dear to the prime minister's heart.

The inclusiveness apart, it had also to be ensured that economic growth impacted on the agriculture sector to ensure that it grew at four percent against the present two percent.

'We have to think of measures to improve productivity and income per head in the rural sector,' Ahluwalia said, even as he added that 'too many' people in India were engaged in agriculture and that this was the major cause of the rural-urban income divide.

As for the projections of the economy growing at a steady nine percent for the next five years, he said: 'It is not a promise, but with hard work it is possible. India has what it takes to transit to steady and sustained growth of nine percent.'

In this context, Ahluwalia noted that the poor state of infrastructure 'is the single biggest obstacle to growth' and urged for 'major improvements' in the system.

As for education and health, he maintained that there had been some 'outstanding success stories' in these fields but the 'average standards were much below what India needed compete in the knowledge economy'.

Referring to the challenges of the future, Ahluwalia said: 'Success will go to those who can cope with change. You have to be nimble and flexible to cope with change.

'In the future, seniority and experience will not be as important as the ability to cope with change.'

Management guru Rajat Gupta, who is the ISB chairman, developed on the theme during his address as he laid down a three-point mantra for success.

'Approach every job with a truly learning mindset.

'Seek out leadership opportunities, no matter how small they might be, to build your skills.

'Strive to act with integrity. For businesses to be trusted, you must display complete integrity,' declared Gupta, the senior partner worldwide of consulting major McKinsey and Company.

At the graduation ceremony, V. Subramaniam and Suneet Gupta received the ISB Scholars of Excellence Awards in recognition of their exceptional academic performance. The top 10 percent of the 416-strong class of 2007 made it to the Dean's list for their distinctive performance in various activities during the year of study.

Speaking on the occasion, Subramaniam said: 'I am taking back a lot of confidence from the ISB. The school gave me the right opportunities and the right platform for networking. It prepared me to face the real world and taught me the difference between success and failure.'

ISB offers a one-year post-graduate programme; short duration, high powered executive education programmes for CEOs and senior executives; and a two-year research fellowship programme.

'The origins and distinctive research of our faculty members ensure that our programme content is contemporary and global in its perspective, and develops our students' understanding of modern management opportunities and challenges,' explained ISB Dean M. Rammohan Rao.

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