India better prepared to tackle Covid third wave: NITI Aayog vice-chairman – Times of India

By | July 25, 2021

VISAKHAPATNAM: Covid-19 pandemic struck India as it was bouncing back from the bottoming out of its economic cycle in the last quarter of 2019-20. But thankfully, we are beginning to get out of it, said NITI Aayog vice-chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar. He was the chief guest for the fourth and fifth annual convocation of Indian Institute of Management-Visakhapatnam conducted in a virtual mode on Saturday.

Rajiv Kumar said that all the economic indicators — be it high-frequency indicators, investment indicators, capacity expansion in some critical industries like steel and others — are beginning to look up. “Of course, it will depend entirely on the nature and shape of the pandemic as we move forward. Even if we have a third wave, we are far better prepared than what we were earlier. So its impact on economic activity would not be as big as it was during the first and second waves. The silver lining might be the ICMR’s announcement that two-thirds of our population have got immunity against the novel coronavirus disease, induced by vaccine or natural infection,” he said.


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“India has the third largest startup system in the world today. India is currently home to 21 unicorns valued at $73.2 billion dollars and this is expected to grow to 50 unicorns by 2022. But India is still in the 48th place in the global innovation index. We should set an aspirational target to break through into the top 10. Unless we successfully innovate, we will be left behind,” said Dr Kumar.

The vice-chairman reminisced about attending an economic conference at Andhra University in Visakhapatnam in 1975.

Chairperson, board of governors, IIM-V, Hari S Bhartia, said that the hybrid or digital mode of teaching and learning is here to stay. “It would provide a great opportunity for the institutions to offer a judicious combination of online and offline content for the young as well as experienced professionals. These courses would come in handy for the young students to continue their professional education even in their employment or entrepreneurial journey,” said Bhartia. He suggested the graduating students be humble and agile.

Speaking about social media, Bhartia said the vibrancy of an organisation is today measured by its scale and reach on social media. “It has become a building block for brand and image building of an organisation. It helps the organisations to maintain a constant context-relevant, customised and personalised connection with its stakeholders,” said Bhartia.

IIM-V director Prof M Chandrasekhar presented the director’s annual report. Prof Chandrasekhar explained how the Institute is witnessing increased enrolment year-on-year and explained its achievements. The institute awarded various awards and gold medals to meritorious students.

Meanwhile, Indian Institute of Management-Visakhapatnam has become the third IIM in the country to sign up for the UN PRME — United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education, a network of over 860 leading business schools across 95 countries. By joining the PRME community, IIM Visakhapatnam commits to aligning institutional strategies and operations with PRME principles, such as advancing values such as sustainability, responsibility, and ethics in teaching, research, and thought leadership. While adhering to these principles, the institute would work to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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