‘India an Incredible Hub of Innovation; Crucial Strategic partner for Switzerland in Riding the Global Digital Wave’ – Swiss Ambassador to India engages with Academia and Researchers at IIM Kozhikode

Kozhikode : The Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode and Malabar Milma jointly hosted the Swiss Ambassador to India, Dr Ralf Heckner, at IIM Kozhikode recently as part of IIMK’s Silver Jubilee celebrations. On his visit to the city of Kozhikode to commemorate the legacy Indo-Swiss success story in Kerala’s animal husbandry and dairying sector, Dr Heckner was joined by Prof. Debashis Chatterjee, Director IIMK, Mr. Venu Rajamony, Officer on Special duty, Govt. of Kerala and Former Ambassador to Netherlands & Mr KS Mani, Malabar Milma Chairman. An engaging conversation on the novel chapters in Indo-Swiss Relations and future of an Agrarian India involving researchers and IIMK faculty members, Milma officials, was held at the IIMK Gurukul to mark the Ambassador’s visit.

His Excellency, Dr Heckner, recounted the journey of the success of the Indo-Swiss project, Kerala, which began in 1960s, as an example of unparalleled and astounding bilateral cooperation in the history of the Indian Dairy Sector. Terming India as an important strategic partner for Switzerland in the digital era, he added “India is an incredible hub of innovation and Switzerland looks forward to collaborating with India to promote scientific, research, academic and technical cooperation to the next level driven by Indian innovation, which is gaining rapid global appreciation.” Throwing open the floor to researchers and IIMK faculty the Ambassador he invited everyone to exchange ideas and suggest interventions that can further complement the future of cooperation between India and Switzerland.

Speaking on the occasion. IIMK Director, Prof. Debashis Chatterjee, shared that India and Switzerland were bound by shared values of deep democracy and the principles of neutrality and multilateral alignment with other nations.  He added that “IIM Kozhikode’s Vision 2047 – when independent India becomes 100 years old and IIMK clocks 50 years – underlines three main values that will define the coming global era: Authenticity (Satyam), Nityam (Sustainability) and Poornam (Wholeness). “ He also congratulated Milma for their inspiring journey and being the face of Kerala’s cooperative movement. Prof. Chatterjee was felicitated by the Chairman Malabar Milma on the occasion for his academic and leadership contribution.

Mr Rajamony, representing the state government, added, “Going beyond the historical partnerships, we have to now explore the possibilities of countries like India and Switzerland coming together to address challenges posed by the 21st century, in terms of a shared future.” Praising the significant journey completed by IIM Kozhikode he also accentuated that how Institutions like IIMK can help turnaround businesses, economy in a state like Kerala with their deep insights and knowledge inputs.

Mr KS Mani thanked IIM Kozhikode and the Ambassador for coming together for this exchange of ideas and said that Milma’s cooperative movement owes it success not only to such bilateral development corporations but also to the 1-million strong family of dairy farmers in Kerala. He expressed confidence that Milma’s humble journey will gain national and international footing in the coming years.

Prof. Anandakuttan Unnithan, Prof. Rudra Sensarma, Prof. Simi Joy and Prof. Shubhasis Dey participated in the knowledge exchange and shared probing experiences on how to take the mutual cooperation forward through exchange of best practices. Bringing grass root Indian innovation to national/international limelight and helping them to scale up commercially through help of development aid, adoption of Swiss model of payment for ecosystem services to encourage sustainability, securing livelihood and food crops, importance of big data in Aggrotech for an agrarian economy like India and adopting success stories in the agri-tourism sectors; increasing income of dairy farmers were the major topics of the discussion deliberating on  creating a win-win scenario for both India and Switzerland. Ms Divya Kashyap, Deputy Head, Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation also highlighted how developmental aid is bringing about changes in rural areas of India.  Dr Muraly P, Managing Director, Malabar Milma gave the vote of thanks on the conclusion of the event.

More on the Link to the conversation on the future perspective on Indo-Swiss Relations: https://www.facebook.com/MalabarMilmaOfficial/videos/515091033606644/ 

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