May 17, 2018

Knowledge, enterprise and youth are catalysts to India's fast-growing economy

High Commissioner of India visits UCalgary to speak about 'The New India'
From left, Vice-Provost (International) Janaka Ruwanpura, High Commissioner of India to Canada Vikas Swarup, and Dean of the Haskayne School of Business Jim Dewald.

From left, Janaka Ruwanpura, Vikas Swarup, and Jim Dewald.

Kelly Hofer, University of Calgary

The most extraordinary experiment in democracy, diversity and development ever to take shape in human history is taking place in India right now, according to Vikas Swarup, the High Commissioner of India to Canada (above, centre).

"Swarup visited the Haskayne School of Business last week to speak about 'The New India' and what has changed in India over the past few decades. Some of the more notable achievements include the rising literacy rate to 79 per cent, life expectancy to 70, 280 million fewer people in poverty, and more than three million NGOs working to make the country better for all.

India is also using technology to enable all Indians to access social support. It is competing at a world level in technology, business and culture. Swarup discussed three important areas to India’s growth: knowledge, enterprise and youth (KEY).

  • Knowledge: India is on the cutting edge of technologies such as biotechnology, nanotechnology and information and communication technology.
  • Enterprise: Indians are born entrepreneurs, creating ultra-low-cost tablets, cars, vaccines and more.  
  • Youth: As the developed world faces aging populations, 64 per cent of India’s population is within the working age group.

“Students should be interested in how business is conducted around the world and in India,” says Swarup. “It’s important for Canadian business students to engage with the new India to understand the business culture in India, the political and economic context, so tomorrow when there is an opportunity for collaboration, these students can be the catalysts. My goal is to develop a greater partnership between the University of Calgary and India.”

The University of Calgary’s International Strategy has identified India as a country of interest. Last fall more than 300 Indian students enrolled to study at UCalgary, we have 23 faculty members with a degree from an Indian institution, and 323 joint research publications.

India has one of the most open economies for foreign investment, and is projected by the World Bank to be the world’s fasted growing economy in 2019 with a projected growth of 7.3 per cent.

The event was co-sponsored by the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI), a binational organization that promotes understanding between India and Canada through academic activities and exchanges led by Anil Mehrotra (secretary/treasurer of SICI and interim head of the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering), Jaydeep Balakrishnan (professor in the Haskayne School of Business) and Sabu Alexander (finance and public relations officer, SICI), and others from the Haskayne School of Business and Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business.