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For Harvard students, India Conference is ‘crucible test of leadership skills’

Handling an event is not easy. How well you manage says volumes about you as an effective manager and leader

education Updated: Feb 06, 2017 21:53 IST
Harvard,Deepa Mehta,John F Kennedy School of Government
Rahul Srinivasan, co-chair India Conference at Harvard (right) and volunteers have been raising funds, writing to speakers and securing confirmations for the event.(Handout)

Students at Harvard are working hard to ensure the success of the India Conference, scheduled for February 11 and 12. A team of volunteers has so far raised funds, written to speakers, secured confirmations, and put together panels and themes from which audiences can get “valuable takeaways.”

Speakers will include former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, former CAG Vinod Rai, politician Shashi Tharoor, filmmaker Deepa Mehta, fashion designer Manish Malhotra, Bollywood actors R Madhavan, Viveik Oberoi and actor-politician Pawan Kalyan, the younger brother of Chiranjeevi.

The theme of this year’s conference is India - the Global Growth Engine, where everything from gender equality to demonetisation to Kashmir will be discussed. Rahul Srinivasan, co-chair India Conference at Harvard and master in public administration (MPA) candidate, 2017, at the John F Kennedy School of Government, is excited as it’s turning out to be a “mega event with 1,000 people expected to attend.”

What support is Harvard extending to the students? Srinivasan says no funding comes from the institute as such events are “a crucible for students to develop their leadership skills. All of the challenges we face get converted to opportunities for us.”

And there’s no shortage of helping hands. Srinivasan says he and about 80 volunteers from across campuses, including his institute, the Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School, and Harvard Medical School, are helping put the event together.

Hindustan Times is knowledge partner for the event.

First Published: Feb 06, 2017 21:23 IST