The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade held its 49th convocation on Wednesday, in the Capital. Four students received Ph D and 314 students received MBA degree in International Business. Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog was the chief guest, and Rajeev Kher, Commerce Secretary, Government of India and Chairman IIFT, presided over the function.
Speaking on the occasion, Arvind Panagariya highlighted how India has not looked back since the opening up of the economy in 1991. He commented on the debate about protectionism versus free trade and pointed out that policies focused on export promotion and free trade led to the emergence of India on the global stage.
He opined that openness in economy and trade was important because it enables a country to do what it does well on a large scale. He also pointed out that there was no substitute for global competition because it brings out the best from a country and presents both opportunities and challenges for the corporate sector and for budding managers.
Drawing an analogy from sports, Panagariya pointed out how India has produced world champions in sports like cricket and chess because they had the opportunity and exposure to compete with the best in the world instead of simply playing domestic tournaments. Graduates of IIFT, he felt would be well equipped to take on the emerging global opportunities and contribute to India’s growth. He also advised the students that achieving success can come only through hard work, focus, perseverance, honesty and truthfulness.
The Commerce Secretary, Government of India, Rajeev Kher, talked about how India’s economy is at its transformation phase and students at IIFT are placed at the forefront to encash these opportunities. Encouraging the students to build on the knowledge and skill gained at IIFT, he pointed out the necessity to ‘learn, unlearn and relearn’ in these ever changing times.
He highlighted that the new Foreign Trade policy was a small step in laying the road map for India’s global engagement and that the government had laid emphasis on increasing the share of manufacturing and in facilitating the ease of doing business especially reducing the cost of doing international business. He emphasised that IIFT graduates would need to be at the forefront to build the transformational streak in our economy. He also congratulated the students on their outstanding placements and stated that they will be playing a key role in how India’s trade architecture builds up in the next few years.
Director of IIFT, Surajit Mitra, pointed out to the students that the resurgent Indian economy was waiting them. He highlighted the various awards and competitions won by the students including the ET young leader’s award conferred to an alumnus for 2014 and congratulated the batch for beating all previous placement records at IIFT.
Mitra also traced the journey of IIFT over the last 5 decades pointing out how an export facilitating institution metamorphosed itself, not only to a leading B-school in India but also a major think tank of the country, a widely recognised Centre for Human Resource Development and also as a hub for research on International Trade and Finance. In the last few years IIFT has produced 10,000 professionals and trained 40,000 people in various aspects of international business and trade.