Jamshedpur: XLRI- Xavier School of Management is all set to organize the 4th ‘Dr Verghese Kurien Memorial Oration on Sustainable Development’ in memory of the Founder of AMUL Dr. Verghese Kurien, otherwise known as “the Milkman of India” on 23rd September, 2017 at XLRI Campus, Jamshedpur.
This year, the oration is to be delivered by Dr. Ashok Khosla, Founder & Chairman, Development Alternatives Group. He would deliver the oration on the topic “The Machine Revolution: Fulfilling the Aspirations of Rural India”.
Fr. E Abraham, S. J. Director of XLRI commented, “Dr. Verghese Kurien was a thinker, a revolutionary and a social entrepreneur who ideated the world’s biggest agricultural development programme. It was his “billion-litre idea” which made dairy farming India’s largest self-sustaining industry, with benefits of employment, incomes, credit, nutrition, education, heath, gender parity & empowerment, breaking down caste barriers and grassroots democracy and leadership. XLRI instituted the oration in his memory with the aim to commemorate his legacy through propagating and disseminating the idea of an empowered, equitable and sustainable society.”
Dr. Ashok Khosla founded the thirty-year-old Development Alternatives Group and is now the Chairman its Board. Headquartered in New Delhi, the DA Group was among the first civil society organisations set up to address the issues of sustainable development as a whole. It also pioneered the concept of social enterprise, creating business-like approaches for eradicating poverty and conserving the natural resource base.
Currently, Dr Khosla is also the president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s largest and most representative alliance of conservation agencies and interest groups; co-president of the Club of Rome, a group dedicated to promoting systems-based strategic understanding of the world problematique and the human predicament; and co-chair of the Resource Panel, which has been set up by UNEP to investigate the status and trends of natural resource use in the global economy. Public Sector – In India, he has served on the National Security Advisory Board, the National Environment Board and the Science Advisory Council to the Cabinet and on the boards of many official, NGO and academic bodies.
At the international level, Ashok has had several official assignments, such as Special Advisor to the Brundtland Commission (WCED), Chair of the ‘92 NGO Forum at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and has served on the Boards of several environment and conservation organizations, including Chair of the Centre for Our Common Future, the Club of Rome and Energy Globe, and member of IISD, Stockholm Environment Institute, ZERI, the Alliance for a New Humanity, EXPO 2000, Toyota Environmental Awards.
Work for Environment – Globally, he helped to design and teach the first university course on the environment (as an assistant to Professor Roger Revelle at Harvard University, 1965); to set up and head the first governmental agency for the Environment in a developing country (under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, 1972); to set up the original international information system on environment (Infoterra, with Maurice Strong at UNEP, 1976); and to establish the first social enterprise for sustainable development (Development Alternatives, 1982).
Fr. E Abraham, S. J. Director of XLRI commented, “We are extremely happy to have Dr. Ashok Khosla to deliver the 4th ‘Dr Verghese Kurien Memorial Oration’. He is recognized for popularizing the word and concept of “sustainability” in international forums. He was actively involved in various projects that defined the environmental views and activities of institutions such as UNEP, UNESCO, UNU, the U.S. Academy of Sciences, IUCN, and the ICSU/SCOPE.”
“Dr. Verghese Kurien Memorial Oration on Sustainable Development is our humble initiative to pay tribute to the great visionary,” said Prof. Madhukar Shukla, Chairperson of XLRI’s Fr Arrupe Center for Ecology & Sustainability. “With this annual oration, we aim to inspire and inculcate values of entrepreneurial spirit in budding business leaders and social entrepreneurs”, he added.