The post-graduate programme of the seventh Indian Institute of Management of the country was inaugurated by Meghalaya chief minister Donkupar Roy at the hill capital, which welcomed the assorted guests in its trademark style — with music.
Shortly before the men in suits and blazers stood up to take the official oath, local singer Pynhun Syiemiong reminded them To reach the unreachable stars/No matter how far they are.
In the presence of their parents and faculty, the students promised to be honest, maintain personal integrity and strive for excellence.
The management honchos, however, found Rabindranath Tagore in every pore of Shillong, reminding the students how the hills had inspired the Nobel laureate.
“Yesterday, I visited the places in Shillong where Tagore stayed and wrote his poems,” said R.N. Dutta, chairman, Board of Governors, IIM Shillong.
Arjun Malhotra, the chairman of Head Strong Inc, USA, too, recited a few lines from Tagore, recalling “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high”.
The chief minister, however, had business in mind.
He said the IIM faculty can provide courses on management to the officials of the Meghalaya government for better administration, after terming July 4 as a red letter day.
For the regulars, the institute will conduct courses on post-graduate diploma in business management, fellowship programmes in management, management development programmes, tourism and hospitality management, teleservices and telemedicine, information systems and technology, and subjects of local relevance such as tourism horticulture and hydel power.
Roy said though the IIM would be functional from the temporary accommodation provided at Mayurbhanj complex, the government has allotted 80 acres at Mawdiangdiang on the outskirts of Shillong for the permanent building.
Though the first batch does not have any local students, Prof. Ashoke Dutta, director of IIM, offered to provide short-term courses for the students from Meghalaya — courses that will benefit them while seeking jobs.
“The students accommodated in the institute will act as the ambassadors of Meghalaya wherever they go,” Dutta said.
T.K. Nair, principal secretary to the Prime Minister, said Shillong IIM should not be considered as a management institute to export manpower to the outside world. The institute should contribute to the growth of the Northeast rather than remain just a centre of learning, he said.