Ahmedabad, May 26: The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), a premier global management institute, welcomed alumni of its Faculty Development Programme (FDP) for a first of its kind FDP Conference cum Reunion 2023, on campus today. The FDP has been in existence for four decades and several of its alumni have made their mark as Vice- Chancellors, Directors, Chairs, well- known faculty and accomplished researchers in their respective areas and institutions. The Conference cum Reunion was attended by alumni and participants from several institutes across the country.
Welcoming the participants, Professor Bharat Bhasker, Director, IIMA said, “IIMA and its founders recognized very early on that nation building will require a very large talent pool and IIIM Ahmedabad alone will not be able to do that. Consequently, the institute decided to share its capabilities in order to create a high-caliber management faculty pool who will uphold high standards of teaching in their respective institutions. Over four decades, we have been successful in nurturing academic leaders who have become heads of institutions, well- known teachers, and researchers.
At the heart of this success lies the exceptional faculty team who constantly strived to enhance the knowledge and teaching methodologies and research capabilities of their own and people around them. I am proud to say that FDP at IIMA is a testament of our commitment to nurturing excellence in academics and contributing to the enhancement of management education in the country.”
Professor Pradyumana Khokle, Dean (Programmes), IIMA also extended a warm welcome to the participants and said, “One of the core reasons why IIMA was established was the creation and dissemination of management knowledge and expertise. And all of you being part of Management Institutes know very well that we do that in many ways. However, this programme is special because it not just does that, but it has another special role, and I will call that role that of an amplifier.” He said together, the FDP alumni and current participants had the power to amplify the dissemination of knowledge, inspire their fraternity and enhance the reach in all directions.
Participants who attended the conference include alumni from batches between 1979 – 2023, including Online FDP in Pedagogy and Research Methods in the years 2020 and 2021.
The FDP is one of the first programmes to be offered by IIMA and is one of the pioneering programmes on faculty training and education in India. Over the decades, it has constantly evolved to stay relevant to the changing times but has never veered from its founding principles of imparting rigorous training on cutting edge techniques of management research, pedagogy as well as on the core principles of general management and case method of teaching, which forms the hallmark of an IIMA education.
Sharing his thoughts on how the FDP has created a strong network among the alumni over the years, Professor Dhiman Bhadra, Chairperson, FDP, said, “Each one of you is like a lit candle that can light up a thousand more. So be that light, and lead the way, show your teachers the way, show your colleagues the way and also ensure that our bond remains strong as ever, over time.”
The programme started its journey in 1979 with the sole purpose of upskilling management educators with research and pedagogical skills relevant to their workplace. Since then, it has trained more than 1000 academicians, working at management institutes in India and neighbouring countries, on cutting-edge skills in management research and pedagogy.
Professor Vijaya Sherry Chand, Professor and Chairperson, Ravi J Mathai Centre for Educational Innovation and former Chairperson of the FDP took the participants through the 44 years of its existence, sharing the challenges and big wins that IIMA team witnessed over the time period. Professor Sherry Chand has been one of the IIMA faculty members who has been associated with the programme since its inception and stressed that participants should ensure that they have sustained engagements with the faculty members in order to gain knowledge on research practices and learn how to apply them in their professional lives.
“If I look at 1965 to 2023, the first stage of 22 programmes has some significant lessons to offer which may not have worked in those days but today, with better connectivity, can work.” He stressed that sustained engagement is key, and that each participant should work towards establishing a connection with the faculty member. He also advised that the participants also need to learn to team up for projects.” He concluded his speech by saying that while there might be challenges, no one should give up and keep trying to make the most of their experience with the FDP programme at IIMA.
The first day concluded with Professor Bhasker felicitating Professor Vijaya Sherry Chand. During the conference, the Director, Dean Programmes, Chairperson of the FDP programme along with the alumni unveiled a compendium of abstracts from papers that were submitted by the participants for the Conference.
Over time, the FDP alumni pool has expanded to include faculty members/management teachers from a diverse range of management schools/institutions and universities across India and neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and the Middle East. Many of our alumni have made significant contributions to their respective fields and workplaces and many have gone on to remould themselves into prolific researchers and talented teachers.