Having been associated with IRMA as professor for over a decade, I took over the mantle of Directorship in December 2017. The role is an honourable one, no doubt, yet also filled with challenges; challenges that IRMA`s founder, the late Dr. Verghese Kurien, would have taken on without turning a hair. I can only, at my humblest best, attempt to emulate the great man and his outstanding vision.
Today, I am proud to say that IRMA not only germinated the concept of quality education in rural management and development, but actively fostered it, since its inception in 1979. Built in response to the need for a new genre of management education focused on rural development problems, IRMA stands tall amongst other institutions, sending managers and leaders into the rural space with deep understanding of its aspirations, lifestyle, and beliefs. Over the decades, it has stayed committed to its objective of training young professionals to work with excellence in the rural and development sectors, besides making notable contributions in the corporate and academic spheres.
In a rapidly-growing global economy, knowledge is progressively becoming crucial to innovation, sustainable economic growth, and social development. IRMA`s commitment to knowledge creation has led to its being re-invented as a knowledge institution as opposed to a mere hub for teaching, training and research.
It is for this reason that our graduates inculcate deep understanding of ground realities and empathy for communities; and work passionately towards the betterment of development and, ultimately, humankind.
Such an ecosystem, very carefully crafted and nurtured at IRMA, has been resilient because of the immense contributions of my faculty colleagues. I take pride in acknowledging these contributions of the faculty towards building knowledge base, nurturing young minds, training mid career managers and engaging with sector organizations in consulting assignments. I also emphatically acknowledge contributions of the partnering sector organizations who work with us closely during entire teaching segments by not only providing compelling tasks to our participating students in the programme but also ensuring that effective learning takes place under active guidance of faculty.
What is more, our graduates go on to add to the vibrant alumni base that continues to do the Institute proud, owing to its outstanding achievements in the sectoral world and beyond. I can say beyond doubt that IRMA`s alumni happen to be its richest social capital with no less than half of them performing stupendous work in unconventional areas, treading "paths untrodden", as India`s greatest milk titan was so fond of saying.
I wish to add that while selecting institutes of higher learning, students place a high premium on academic content. I urge them to also delve deeper into the alumni base of their prospective choices, especially those who mentor graduates throughout the course of their career, and sometimes, personal trajectories. I can say with considerable pride that IRMA`s alumni, from the beginning, continue to walk companionably alongside these young minds aiding them in advancement throughout their lives.
In conclusion, I can only say that IRMA is more than a place for gaining an education; it is also a foundation for building a future with a vision unparalleled elsewhere.
With sincere regards and best wishes,
Prof. Hitesh V. Bhatt