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Global Experiences by BIMTECH Faculties-

3 MONTHS @ OXFORD UNIVERSITY – Dr. Abha Rishi

1It was a gray and rainy day in January when I received the exciting news from the British High Commission that I had been selected for the Chevening Rolls-Royce Science and Innovation Leadership Programme, (CRISP) to be at Oxford University for 3 months. CRISP is a scholarship funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office –UK and Rolls-Royce for 12 mid-career level people in the field of science and innovation – with links to public policy – in India. The programme offers an intense all-expenses paid 12-week course at the prestigious Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.

Throughout the programme, there was a strong emphasis on personal development (through individual tutorials, Myers Briggs assessments, team exercises and painting (!) and communication skills (including presentations, making succinct arguments, listening, debating, reflecting on graphics, etc. It also combined academic sessions, individual business research projects/plans, visits, individual tutoring and
lively cultural and social activities including a poem reading session with Naseeruddin and Ratna Shah! Each of the scholars was assigned mentors and mine was Gabrielle (Gay) Haskins, who is an Associate Fellow of Saïd Business School, University (SBS) of Oxford. My other ‘guru’ was John Hoffmire, who is also a senior faculty at SBS.

1There were a plethora of classroom sessions and interactions, which ranged from ‘Global Challenges’ with Ian Goldin (Professor of Globalization and Development and Director of the Oxford Martin School – ex Vice President of the World Bank) to ‘Research, innovation, commercialization and start-ups’ with Professor Peter Dobson (Director, Begbroke Science Park, and Strategic Advisor on Nanotechnology to the Research Councils in the UK.). The other interesting sessions were ‘ Brain Gain: fundamental research in science in India’ with Prof. Subir Sarkar (Head of Particle Theory Group at the Rudolf Peierls entre for Theoretical Physics), ‘International Relations and Security’ with Prof Neil Macfarlane and ‘ Innovation in a Consumer Society – Retail perspectives’ with Richard Cuthbertson (Research Director at the Oxford Institute of Retail Management).

One of the highlights of the programme was working with Prof Paul Temporal on ‘Branding’. Prof Temporal was the brains behind the ‘Truly Asia – Malaysia’ campaign, the Singapore airlines and many other internationally well known brands. All these sessions were par excellence but the one most extraordinaire’ was the session on ’Responses to Climate Change’ with Sir David King (Special Representative for Climate Change and Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment)

There were also quite a few interesting visits like, the visits to Rolls-Royce in Derby, Harwell Catapult and Cyclotron, the Department of Business Innovation and Skills and to the FCO, the University of trathclyde, etc. The visit to the Rolls Royce manufacturing centre in Derby had quite a few absorbing sessions like ‘Creating shareholder value through technology’ with Ric Parker (Director of Research and Technology) and learning about the thrust areas of Rolls Royce with Tony Wood (President- Aerospace). Tony Atherton (Head of International Learning) made sure that we had an excellent experience overall.

The University of Strathclyde, awarded the entrepreneurial university of the year, was one of the most thought provoking for me as it showed me a framework of how a old university could transform it into a highly innovation oriented and fast paced organization, with a model of how to build up excellent local and international links with innovators and entrepreneurs. The interactive sessions with Sir Jim McDonald (Principal and Vice-Chancellor and Chairman, Energy Advisory Board in Scotland) and Prof Sara Carter really set the tone.
In addition, we have made extensive individual contacts. In the easy going atmosphere of Oxford, it was quite likely that a person could bump into a Nobel Prize winner or a high level political dignitary, riding along on their bicycles! Oxford has educated many notable alumni, including 27 Nobel laureates (58 total affiliations), 26 British Prime Ministers (most recently David Cameron) and many foreign heads of state.

What I enjoyed the most was the freedom to think and be or maybe as the French would say ‘joie de etre’, to just appreciate and value the beauty, both natural and architectural, of Oxford and soak in the surrealist atmosphere of being in an environment, which has upheld the ethos of knowledge for the last nine hundred years.


International Conference Presentation hosted at Harvard Campus, Boston

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Dr. Meena Bhatia presented research paper titled, “Intellectual Capital Disclosures and Attributes: Evidence from Indian Banking Sector” at International Journal of Arts and Sciences’ (IJAS) conference, held at Harvard University campus, Boston, USA between  May 26 and 30 2014. Paper was accepted by reviewers in a double-blind review process.

 

The IJAS Conference Series takes place annually in several cities across Europe and North America; namely, Harvard, Germany, Prague, Singapore, Barcelona, Malta, Venice, Paris, Rome, Vienna, London and Toronto. It hosts academic research presentations in following tracks:
  • Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Business and Economics
  • Teaching and Education
  • Technology and Science

She presented her paper in business and economics track on 28 May 2014. The paper was well received.  

The conference series has three primary aims, the first aim is to provide opportunities for academics from a range of disciplines and countries to share their research both through the conference podium and IJAS’s double-blind refereed publications. All IJAS conferences are inter- and multi-disciplinary.The second aim of the Conference Series is to provide opportunities for academics to receive informal in-depth feedback through discussions and to enable them to establish contact with professionals in other countries and institutions. The tours are the main way of “breaking the ice” away from the formalities of the conference hall, and providing an informal setting for discussing different points of view. Even in an increasingly networked world of internet and satellite conferences, there is no substitute for personal interaction—what Edward R. Murrow calls “the last three feet of communication.” It is individuals, not data streams, who must ultimately build the connections, which in turn create lasting international research partnerships.
The third aim of the Conference Series is to introduce academics to educational premises in locations that are suitable for study abroad programs and which may meet their students’ educational needs. IJAS draws its inspiration from the Fulbright Program, an integral part of the United States’ foreign educational relations, where face-to-face exchanges have proven to be the single most effective means of engaging international publics while broadening dialogue between academics and institutions.

Conference included two off-campus programmes, one was in a living museum by the name of Plimoth Plantation and another was in Maine.

Plimoth Plantation is a living museum that shows the original settlement of the Plymouth Colony established in the 17th century by English colonists, some of whom later became known as Pilgrims. Maine is a state in the New England region of the north-eastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south; New Hampshire to the west. Participants went past the spectacular old seafarers’ houses, walked around, and enjoyed a lobster lunch. In all, it was a wonderful and motivating experience for Dr. Meena Bhatia to represent BIMTECH at conference hosted at Harvard University campus, Boston, USA.

 

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