Somerville was honoured to welcome two prominent leaders in India’s corporate sector to speak on sustainable development at an event hosted by the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development on 8 June.

India’s Sustainable Development: the Role of the Private Sector took the form of a conversation between Naina Lal Kidwai, Chairman, HSBC India and Executive Director, HSBC Asia-Pacific, and Arindam Bhattacharya, Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group, India. The conversation was chaired by Professor Matthew McCartney, Director of South Asian Studies at Oxford’s School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies.

The discussion ranged from sanitation to renewable energy to food and nutrition to the clean Ganga project. The speakers also held a lunch meeting with Somerville’s Indira Gandhi Scholars, each of whom is pursuing postgraduate study or research in fields related to sustainable development.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to meet and interact with these visionary leaders who are spearheading new initiatives in India that advance the sustainable development agenda,” said Ranu Sinha, an Indira Gandhi scholar at Somerville College who is currently studying for an MSc Water Science, Policy & Management.

Academics, students, India scholars and other interested parties all attended, making for a lively event with many questions afterwards. Drinks continued for some time following the discussion, as debate continued more informally.

Somerville College has established an Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development at the College, which focuses on talent development, pioneering research and on building new partnerships. The Centre benefits from contributions from the College’s range of scholars conducting research into sustainable development issues in India.

Naina Lal Kidwai is the author of 30 Women in Power: Their voices, their stories (2015, Rupa). Arindam Bhattacharya is the co-author of the audiobook Globality: Competing with Everyone from Everywhere for Everything (2008, Hachette).

Indira-Gandhi-Scholars-at-Somerville
Indira Gandhi Scholars at Somerville with Naina Lal Kidwai and Arindam Bhattacharya

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