KIIT School of Rural Management (KSRM) hosted the 4th National Rural Management Konclave on 2nd September, 2023. The objective of the Konclave was to bring together development professionals, corporate partners, academicians, and students of the School onto a common platform to discuss various upcoming issues, with a special focus on “Women Empowerment and Sustainable Development”. The event featured two panel discussions: (1) Women Empowerment and Sustainable Development and (2) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Rural Development.
Speaking at the inaugural session, Mr. Prashant Hota, President & Group Head of CSR & Corporate Communication at Jindal Steel and Power emphasized the need for GDP growth to be complemented by measures such as happiness indices and inclusiveness.
Prof. Sasmita Samanta, Vice Chancellor of KIIT Deemed to be University, highlighted the University’s mission to bring knowledge from campus to the people and address their problems with solutions. She underlined the synchronized and inclusive growth of KIIT and KISS universities, with a combined student population of 70,000.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Prof. Nishith Parida, Director of KIIT School of Rural Management shared the remarkable journey of KSRM and KIIT Deemed to be University. Prof. Damodar Jena, Dean of KSRM delivered the word of thanks. The dignitaries congratulated the winners and participants of “QUIZ WHIZ”, a national quiz competition.
The first panel discussion focused on Women Empowerment and Sustainable Development and was moderated by Dr. Sujeet Rajan from TATA Trust. The panel stressed the transformative nature of empowerment, which takes time. They advocated for a design that combines human-centered and systemic thinking for programs aiming to enhance women’s empowerment. The panelists of the 1st group were Mr. Indrajit Chaudhuri, CEO & Country Director of PCI, India, Mr. Mathew Joseph, Country Director of American India Foundation, Mr. Saroj Mahapatra, Executive Director of PRADAN, and Mr. Suvendu Rout, Vice President of ACCESS Development Services.
The second panel discussion centered around CSR and Rural Development and was moderated by Mr. Prashant Hota. The panelists of the discussion were Dr. Lopamudra Priyadarshini, AVP, Head – Community, Relations and Sustainability of Hindalco Industries Ltd, Dr. Vikas Yadvendu, Group Head-CSR of ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India, Mr. Ambika Prasad Mohanty, Team Leader of Reliance Foundation, and Mr. Dhrubanarayan Mukherjee, General Manager-CSR of Vedanta. They emphasized the need for a holistic approach, including skill development, income generation, and project replicability, and concluded that CSR projects could complement government development efforts for greater impact.