When it comes to promoting sustainability, colleges are not very far behind in the race. And what’s the better way to make a difference in the world than to start at college. College students are the change makers of the world. Many colleges in India are going against the tide of just manufacturing students with good grades that can fill in the best positions in big firms. These days colleges are encouraging students to work for the betterment of society through sustainable development. One such college is Indian Institute of Management, Ranchi. They have designed a program called Agon to stimulate Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Agon comes from the Greek word agōn, which roughly translated means contest or war. At Indian Institute of Management, Ranchi, the concept of AGON is viewed in light of the corporate arena where it is interpreted as ‘War of the Business Brains’. What do businesses fight for, if not sustainability? The concept of Sustainability is deeply ingrained everywhere in IIM Ranchi – the idea of AGON or BuzzOnEarth itself.
Agon, being the flagship management festival of IIM Ranchi, hosts numerous events from case study competitions pertaining to various domains of businesses to debate and creative writing competitions. In the midst of all the corporate hustle and bustle that goes on in these two days, the institute does not forget its adherence to the greater cause which is the societal and sustainable development of society. The CSR club of IIM Ranchi, “Samarpan”, is driven by this very motive and organizes a flagship event “Samadhan” in Agon. Every year, students are presented with a large social issue for which the event seeks innovative and implementational solutions. Last year, “Solid waste management”, a very important issue faced by our society today was taken up to be transformed where colleges from all over the country participated to present their ideas. After hard-fought rounds of case presentations and intense discussions, team “Pareshan” from NMIMS Mumbai emerged as winners. The competition reflected the social awareness of all the participants and depicted a very important aspect for any manager today- social responsibility.
Agon, the flagship management event at IIM Ranchi, this year would engage in activities to promote sustainability towards the environment and society. IIM Ranchi currently exhibits numerous initiatives towards societal responsibility. IIM Ranchi, through Samarpan, is a participating institution for Unnat Bharat Abhiyan. The institute closely works with the Jonah Gram Panchayat and helps in facilitating their development work. The mission of the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is to enable prominent educational institutions to work with people of rural India in identifying development challenges and evolving appropriate solutions for accelerating sustainable growth. The students of the institute regularly plan field visits, conduct surveys regarding the availability of government services and awareness and implementation of the policies. We analyze the data and try to come up with ways in which the society can be benefited in the most effective way with the available resources at hand.
IIM Ranchi is also the first IIM to become a signatory of United Nations-supported initiative- The Principle for Responsible Management Education (PRME). UNGC- PRME is a platform to ensure the engagement of future leaders of tomorrow with the skills to balance the economic and sustainability goals.
The endeavour for IIM Ranchi remains to be an exemplary institution in the promotion of sustainable development through its actions and AGON is the primary avenue to achieve and showcase the same. With increasing emphasis on environmental protection, it is imperative for all leading educational institutes to create and spread awareness about sustainable development. We, at IIM Ranchi, persistently work towards making AGON a leading light in that regard.