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MIT India Conference

Geetha Patil
04/11/2018

(This article is sponsored by Masala Art)

The MIT India Conference 2018 was organized by the MIT Students Association on Sunday, April 08, 2018 from 9:00am to 6:30pm by bringing together the visionaries from various industries, including technology, finance, social impact, energy, healthcare, media and government. This year’s theme of the conference was “Pioneering Innovation” which highlighted India’s prime innovators and thought-leaders, and explored how they are transforming the economic, social, cultural, and technological landscape of India.

After registration, the delicious breakfast time provided networking opportunities to all the participants. Akshata Krishnamurthy, Nirali Savia, and Emil Kuruvilla, the Conference Chairs warmly welcomed the audience to the meeting and thanked them for their enthusiasm. They also thanked sponsors, media, and MIT for their generous support. Ms. Melanie Mala Ghosh, the Managing Director of MIT-India and MIT-South Asia, spoke on, ‘Impact of MIT India Program.’ She said that several MIT professors and hundreds of students are working on numerous India projects through their research and teaching programs, internships, workshops, conferences and other programs. Prof. S.P. Kothari, the Director, MIT – India, and Gordon Y Billard Professor of Accounting and Finance, MIT Sloan School of Management, kindly welcomed the audiences to the meeting. He highlighted the motivation behind organizing this conference since 2011 and said that it has become an annual ritual of MIT Students Association and is becoming interesting every time and spark light Indian leaders, innovations, technology, and policies.  Mr. Prithviraj Chavan, Former Chief Minister, Maharashtra, delivered his thought provoking keynote address on the topic, ‘Pioneering Innovation in Public Policy.’ He said that Maharashtra government is improving education by recruiting qualified teachers and using digital media for teaching and creating innovative spirit among students. Mr. Chauhan Ji also actively participated in the Q&A session moderated by Prof. S. P. Kothari. Prof. Anatha P. Chandrakasan, Dean, MIT School of Engineering spoke on, ‘Pioneering Innovation in Technology & Impact of MIT.’ He said that the MIT intelligence quest is an institute wide initiative on human and machine intelligence. Today’s machine learning is the new literacy of the present time.

 

Ms. Roshni Nadar Malhotra, CEO & Executive Director of HCL Corporation spoke on, ‘Pioneering Innovation in Corporations & Human Capital.’ She highlighted HCL programs such as transformational VidyaGyan Leadership Academies, the progressive Shiv Nadar Schools, the iconic Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and the innovative Shiksha, a technology-led interventions in rural education to eradicate illiteracy from India. She also answered all the questions of the participants in the Q&A sessions moderated by Prof. Anatha P. Chandrakasan. Later, Prof. Anant Agarwal, CEO of EdX talked about how this EdX.com has become a pioneering innovation in education to provide quality education at an affordable fee to millions of people around the world. Ms. Rekha M. Menon, Chairman and Senior Managing Director, Accenture India (AI) talked about pioneering innovations in AI and work. She said that AI has potential to increase India’s gross value through implementing its new innovations, skilling and re-skilling workforces in India. She also answered very cleverly to all the questions asked by Prof. Anant Agarwal, the moderator of Q&A session. 

 

Prof. Robert Stoner, Director. MIT Tata Center and Deputy Director, MIT Energy Initiative spoke on the impact of the MIT Tata center in the economic and social spheres of India by involving universities, entrepreneurs, government and industries. He described how they interact with entrepreneurs to carry over their innovations in technology, agriculture, and health care areas across India. Mr. Gururaj Deshpande, Founder, Deshpande Foundation highlighted the Foundation’s various programs such as educational trainings for students, farm ponds for needy farmers, and mid- day-meals for public school children as their pioneering innovations for inclusive growth in Karnataka. He also answered all the questions of participants asked by moderator Prof. Robert Stoner.

 

In the afternoon, in an interesting Q&A session titled, ‘Pioneering Innovation in the Indian Economy: Why India is Looking Good for the Next 40 Years,’ Mr. Ashish Chauhan, CEO & Manager Director, BSE, answered very shrewdly but in a humorous manner all the questions asked by moderator Prof. S. P. Kothari along with participants’ questions about the impact of recent government policies and the use of innovations in the stock market business of India. Ms. Hamsa Balakrishnan, Associate Professor, MIT Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, talked about pioneering innovation in transportation especially about the growth and impact of Air Transportation in India, Middle East, China and US. Ms. Kirthiga Reddy, Former Managing Director, Facebook India and South Asia, talked about pioneering innovation in digitization and emerging economies especially in India and how machine learning skills of Indians made it easy to use Facebook, WhatsApp, and LinkedIn for their visual communication. She said that although Artificial intelligence invented in the West but its future use is taking shape in the other side of the world. She also answered all the questions in the Q&A Session moderated by Ms. Hamsa Balakrishnan.

 

After tea break, Ms. Urmi Samadar, Director of Action Learning, MIT Sloan School of Management delivered her speech on, ‘Impact of MIT Sloan Action Learning.’ This was followed by the stimulating Q&A Session with Ms.Vani Kola, Founder & Managing Director, Kalaari Capital and moderator Ms. Urmi Samadar on, ‘Pioneering innovation in Venture Capital & Entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy.’ Ms. Anjali Sastry, Senior Lecturer spoke on, ‘Pioneering Innovation in Healthcare.’ She said that she was impressed by various healthcare innovations made by AIIMS, Arvind Eye, and JSS in India and motivates her students to take that experience and apply it to another domain. Mr. Ananth Narayana, CEO, Myntra & Jabong highlighted his knowledge and experience with regard to pioneering innovation in fashion & e-commerce in the Q&A Session moderated by Ms. Anjali Sastry. He emphasized that in his organization they value past experience and learning ability of the both old and new employees. They use digital models to predict the trends of fashion.

 

The last session of the evening was on, ‘Pioneering Innovation in Film & Entertainment.’ The Q&A Session’s moderator Ms. Shraysi Tandon, Filmmaker & Journalist showed audiences thought-provoking clippings of the films produced by Mr. R. Balki, Film Writer, Director & Producer (Padman, Ki & Ka, Paa, Cheeni Kum / Producer: English Vinglish) and Ms.Guneet Monga, CEO, Sikhya Entertainment & Film Producer (Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), Peddlers (2012) and The Lunchbox (Dabba) (2013). She asked many questions about their strugglse and success in their filmmaking career. Ms. Shraysi also encouraged participants to ask their questions directly, and meet and greet them after the session.

 



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