5th Subir Raha Memorial Lecture by Dr. Anil Kakodkar

Tue, 10th March, 2015 @ SCOPE Convention Centre, SCOPE Complex, New Delhi

Padma Vibhushan, Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission & INAE Satish Dhawan Chair of Engineering Eminence delivered the 5th Subir Raha memorial lecture, organised by Global Compact Network India (GCNI) on 10th March 2015 at SCOPE Convention Centre, SCOPE Complex, New Delhi, on the theme “Good Corporate Governance”. Mr. Dinesh K. Shraff, President, Global Compact Network India and Chairman & Managing Director, ONGC, Dr. S.P.S Bakshi ,Vice President (Northern Region), GCNI and Chairman cum Managing Director, Engineering Projects(India) Limited and Dr. Uddesh Kohli, Senior Adviser, United Nations Global Compact  and several eminent and senior corporate executives, media persons and students were present at the event.

Dr. Anil Kakodkar became the Director of BARC in the year 1996 and was the Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) during the year 2000-2009. Dr. Kakodkar is a man of great knowledge and has worked for the development of atomic energy programmes in India throughout his professional life. Recipient of several major national and international honour and awards, he has   received the Padma Shri in 1998, Padma Bhushan in 1999 and Padma vibhushan in 2009. As a key contributor to India’s strategic nuclear programme, Dr Kakodkar was among the choosen few involved in the first successful peaceful nuclear explosion experiment that India conducted on May 18, 1974 at pokhran. Under his leadership, India earned a distinctive status as a country with advanced nuclear technology. Some of his notable contributions also include setting up of research and educational institutes, such as National Institutes of Science Education and Research, DAE–Mumbai University Centre for basic Sciences, and Homi Bhabha National Institute, aimed at acceleration of India’s multifaceted atomic energy programme and promotion of research in science and technology.

Dr. Kakodkar, recalling his interactions with Mr. Subir Raha, applauded him for his passion, vision and foresight. Paying his respect to the great leader Dr. Kakodkar said corporate social responsibility is a buzzword now. But Mr. Raha did recognise and shape this activity on an international platform much earlier. His unique qualities held him in such a high esteem and inspired a large number of young people.

In his lecture, Dr. Kakodkar stated that the main thrust of corporate citizen initiative, should be to pay attention to strengthening our knowledge institutions for grooming of our youth both in rural as well as urban areas to unleash their potential to innovate new products and processes and to maximise value addition to available resources. He added vibrant connections are necessary between knowledge domain and the domains of actions. These connections have to be along several routes Apart from direct link between industry and the knowledge domain ,some of them should feed into a top-down central policy making and planning processes while others feed the bottom up decentralised planning and development processes.

He emphasised that  the corporate can meaningfully contribute to both top-down as well as bottom –up action domains, they have a tremendous ability to do things by themselves in the bottom up, decentralised processes. Such an approach can particularly make a big difference to rural India.

He said he would recommend each corporate to engage with a number of villages in a manner that brings education and development together. They can do that on their own without depending on anybody else. If they do that, they are not just solving one specific problem, but will contribute to a new paradigm of self empowered sustainable development. By helping set up innovation ecosystems around our knowledge institutions, a major boost to economy through technology enabled growth is clearly feasible