Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) held its 40th annual Convocation ceremony on Thursday, 6th May 2021. The Chief Guest for the ceremony was Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Rural Development and Food Processing Industries, Government of India. The Guest of Honour was Dr. G.R. Chintala, Chairman, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was held virtually and telecast on IRMA’s official YouTube channel, “IRMA Official”. This year’s Convocation ceremony was special because 2021 marks the birth centenary of IRMA’s founder, Dr. Verghese Kurien.

Shri Tomar exalted the graduating batch saying that he was sure that the participants of IRMA would scale new heights in their lives. Praising the vision of Dr. Kurien, Shri Tomar said that the Institute was the realization of Dr. Kurien’s dream to professionalize rural management. Adding that India resides in her villages and the mainstay of rural society and economy is agriculture, he opined that one of the prerogatives of the Government of India is that agriculture remains robust. Schemes like Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana, and the Self-Help Group (SHG) Revolution are all primed to promote livelihoods in the rural areas. But to ensure that these efforts succeed, the expertise of trained professionals like IRMAns is required. It is graduates from institutions like IRMA who can steer these efforts and thereby our country to greatness. He concluded by saying that he strongly believed that there was no better time than now for IRMAns to go out into the world and make a difference.

Dr Chintala

The Guest of Honour, Dr. Chintala said that he was immensely happy and proud that the participants of IRMA decided to work in the rural areas to help uplift the vulnerable strata of the society, thereby empowering them economically and otherwise. Invoking Dr. Kurien’s legacy, Dr. Chintala paid his respects to the Father of the White Revolution in the country by saying that the scale of the work done by Dr. Kurien is such that it has ensured that its benefits would be reaped by generations to come. He further added that it was not only Dr. Kurien’s work but also the chain of institutions that he built that has made him immortal. IRMA is one of them and occupied a place of pride in his heart. He further added that those graduating from IRMA are special as they span the intersection of management, development, social sciences, the rural sector, the cooperative sector and the corporate sector. He said that he hoped that these graduates will help the country to promote ecologically-friendly, and equitable socio-economic development of rural people through professional management.

Dr R.S Sodhi

Dr. R.S. Sodhi, Member-Board of Governors at IRMA, Managing Director of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation and alumnus of the first batch of IRMA’s flagship Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Rural Management), recalled the first-ever Convocation ceremony at IRMA in 1982, adding that he was fortunate to belong to the new breed of rural managers that walked out of the hallowed gates of IRMA 40 years ago. He invoked the words of Dr. Kurien spoken during the first convocation ceremony, viz. “our first duty is to India; our second duty is to farmers and especially to the poorest in rural society; our third duty is to our institution – and our last duty, always, is to ourselves”. He concluded by saying that IRMA's long-term vision - to imbue professional management with relevant ethos and values, in order to assist underserved communities, organizations, and institutions in professionalizing their management through training and capacity building – will keep it relevant to India. He implored the young graduates to never let the flame of IRMA’s legacy die out.

Prof. Umakant Dash, Director, IRMA, congratulated the graduating 40th batch of Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Rural Management), the second batch of the Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Rural Management-Executive) and the Fellow of the Fellowship Programme in Management (Rural Management) on their diligence and determination. Remarking on the unusually difficult year marked by a global pandemic, Dr. Dash commended the efforts of IRMA faculty, staff and participants in rising up to the occasion and seamlessly continuing the teaching-learning process.

This year, 215 participants were awarded the Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Rural Management), 33 were awarded the Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Rural Management - Executive) and one was awarded the Fellowship Programme in Management (Rural Management). The prestigious Kuchibotla Vasanthi Gold Medal for academic excellence in PGDM(RM) 40 was awarded to Lava Kaushik.

The Prof. Shiladitya Roy Memorial Award, instituted in the name of the late Prof. Shiladitya Roy for excellence in Financial Management course, and the Prof. Monark Bag Memorial Award, instituted in the name of the late Prof. Monark Bag for excellence in Production and Operations Management course were both awarded, to Srihari V from PGDM(RM) 40 batch.

The Convocation ceremony can be watched here: https://youtu.be/3ar1Xd2Mf3M

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