KIIT School of Rural Management (KSRM) conducted National Rural Management Conclave 2019 on 14th December, 2019. The overall objective of the Conclave was to bring the development & business practitioners as well as academicians & students to a common platform and discourse on various challenges and way forward with special reference to “Sustainable Development and Rural Finance”. There were two panel discussions in the Conclave. The themes for the panel discussions were: (1) Frontiers of Sustainable Development – Challenges and Prospects; and (2) Rural Financing: Saviour of Economic Slowdown.

Shri Jagadananda, NITI Aayog Standing Committee (CSO) Member and Co-Founder of CYSD, was the Chief Guest of the Conclave. He flagged the important ‘Big Ticket Problems” including managing Digital Technology, Conflict and Domestic Violence, Inequality, Demographic Shift/Forced Migration, Climate Change, Malnutrition and Tribal Development.

“Moreover, there are some critical issues like poverty, unemployment and social disintegration which are affecting the society by and large. Besides, as Malnutrition has thrown a serious challenge to society, the coming generation will cease to grow properly and might be stunted. These issues have to be dealt with head on. Since 2015, Sustainable Development has become the recitation (mantra).  To gratify this, we need new expertise, insight, new breed of professionals with empathy. With self motivated commitment, each one of the students can be a change agent”, remarked Shri Jagadananda.

Shri Jagadananda appreciated the spectacular and unique contribution of the Founder KIIT & KISS Prof. Achyuta Samanta to tribal development.

Addressing the audience, Prof. S.K. Mahapatra, Director, KIIT School of Management said that India being a large country with diverse opinion, multicultural and multi linguistic, the process of development is slow. We are advantaged to expedite the technology. The technology has brought a solution, if we look at the root cause of sustainability and inclusion. Everything will be sustainable, if we take care of these things.

“Sixty-five percent of Indians still live in rural areas.  They have no access to education, market & credit, Infrastructure and the Internet. All these factors have become unsustainable. To make our village modern and more livable, we can bring about a change to achieve sustainability”, he added.

At the outset, placing the Welcome Address, Prof. Nishith Parida, Director, KIIT School of Rural Management explained how Rural Finance meets the challenges and how Innovation and Rural Finance carry so much significance in the society.

In his address, Prof. V. Venkatakrishnan, Dean, KSRM  laid focus on sustainable development and climate change. He remarked that sustainability of the Individual, institution and process are important in long term perspective. “Development is sustainable while the Sustainability and Development can go together”, he stated.

Eventually, Vote of Thanks was proposed by Prof. Damodar Jena, the Conclave Convener, KSRM.

The dignitaries participated in the first theme from different professional fields include: Mr. Umi Daniel, Director, Aide et Action International; Mr. Arun Nagpal, Co-Founder & MD, MRIDA Group; Mr. Rajesh Shinghi, Founder & ED, IBTADA; Ms. Abha Mishra, State Project Coordinator, UNDP; and Mr. Jagdish Pradhan, President, SVA. Similarly, experts participated in the second theme from rural finance background include: Mr. Sriram Vinjamuri, Vice President – Rural Banking, AXIS Bank; Mr. Rajinder Babbar, Business Head – Rural Banking Group, HDFC Bank; Mr. Avijit Saha, Business Head – Rural & Inclusive Banking, ICICI Bank; Mr. Bhaskar Priyadarshi, COO, Vaya Finserv; Mr. Neeraj Kumar Lal, Head – Internal Control, Arohan Microfinance; and Mr. Sushanta Tripathy, Sr. Vice President, Bharat Financial Inclusion Ltd.