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School News

October 17, 2006

India Conference Draws Leading Scholars and Public Officials

More than 200 students, faculty members and distinguished guests from around the world convened on campus last week for a three-day conference on India and its role in global commerce.


More than 200 students, faculty members and distinguished guests from around the world convened on campus last week for a three-day conference on India and its role in global commerce. The conference addressed key economic and political developments in the world’s largest democracy. Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor, Economics and Law, and Arvind Panagariya, the Jagdish N. Bhagwati Professor of Indian Economy at the School of Public and International Affairs (SIPA), led the three-day event, which was cohosted by SIPA.

Participants explored many of the challenges created by India’s rapid growth and liberalization, including the mobilization of energy resources, the expansion of employment opportunities and the government’s growing expenditures and how they will be financed. Kamal Nath, India’s commerce and industry minister, gave the keynote address, which had as its theme “India: An Emerging Giant.”

“Columbia Business School and India share a deep regard for what we at the School refer to as the entrepreneurial mindset — the ability to recognize and capture opportunity in a rapidly changing world,” said Dean Glenn Hubbard. “Given that shared philosophy, it’s not surprising that the School has witnessed an escalating interest from faculty, students and alumni in India’s rapid growth and prospects for the future.”

The School has recently sponsored several India-related initiatives. In January, Professor Rajeev Kohli will lead the third annual Chazen International Study Tour to India, accompanying students to Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. The School’s Executive MBA program will offer its first International Seminar in India in March 2007.

Panel members at the conference included Ronen Sen, Indian ambassador to the United States; Frank Wisner, former U.S. ambassador to India and vice chairman of the American International Group; Arun Shourie, member of the Indian parliament, former minister for privatization and communications and information technology and distinguished author and journalist; and Govinda Rao, director of India’s National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and member of the prime minister’s Economic Advisory Council.

The conference was cosponsored by the Chazen Institute of International Business, the Columbia University Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), the James Leitner Fund for Faculty Research at SIPA and Sreedhar and Saroj Menon.