I am delighted to be given this opportunity to lay the foundation stone for the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Institute for Master of Management Studies. As I am sure you know, this is not my first contact with the Bhavan. I have happy memories of visiting your thriving Centre in London in November 1978. I was impressed then by the strength of your movement and the depth of your faith in your cause and your confidence in your future. My visit here reinforces this impression. With its growing number of Centres around the world, the Bhavan does excellent work for international understanding and brings deserved credit to India and its people. Long may it thrive.
The decision to introduce a postgraduate course in management studies is, in my view, an excellent and far-sighted one. No institution, however large or small, can hope to succeed without capable management. In a highly specialised world, managerial skills require specialised training.
So much is obvious, but I would go beyond that and say that good management is possibly even more crucial for a developing than a developed country. Where resources are scarce, it is particularly important to put them to the best possible use. Where there are many [end p1] calls for capital for development it is particularly necessary to get the best possible return on the investment made. Low returns or the absence of profit means that society foregoes capital investment which it might have had. In practice this tends to hit the poorer people harder than those who are better off.
In a great country like India there is no shortage of potential managerial talent. But it needs to be brought to the fore, trained, mobilised and applied in the right places. Not to do this would be a waste. The Bhavan, I know, is against waste. I applaud your initiative here.
My Government places great emphasis on efficiency and the need for good management. And we believe we have a contribution to make in these fields. For example in India, Transmark, a subsidiary of British Rail, has assisted Indian Railways; British Mining Consultants, who are associated with the National Coal Board, are advising Coal India, and British Electricity International, a subsidiary of the Central Electricity Generating Board, are advising the National Thermal Power Corporation. And many UK private sector firms involved in Indian industry and its development are household names: ICI, Rolls Royce, Dunlop and Unilever. These all involve crucial sectors of the economy, in which we believe British management expertise has been of benefit to India. [end p2]
I am glad to say that in recent years Britain has also been making a contribution to India's own programme of management training. Links between our Administrative Staff College at Henley and your Administrative Staff College at Hyderabad go back to the founding of the latter. Managers from a variety of enterprises have gone to Britain for training under our Technical Cooperation Training Programme. We maintain close connections with organisations like the All India Management Association, from time to time taking part in their national seminars and workshops. We are also working with Indian Railways on the development of their management cadre.
I am glad therefore to see the Bhavan giving recognition to the need for specialised management training, and I feel confident that the achievements of the Bhavan in all its fields of endeavour will be repeated in this Institute of Management. I wish you all success.