12 Dec 2018 20:23 IST

IMI Kolkata hosts seventh Indo-China Conference

(From left) Prof Tirthankar Nag (Dean Research & International Relations and Professor – Strategy, IMIK); Prof Arindam Banik (Director IMI Kolkata); eminent author Mani Sankar Mukherji (Sankar); Prof Guo Xiaoming (former Vice-President and Professor, SASS); Prof Chen Jixiang, (Vice-Director, Centre for Indian Study, SASS)

International meet focuses on economic, social and cultural perspectives, looks to forge stronger bonds

The inaugural session of the seventh edition of the two-day Indo-China Conference was held at IMI Kolkata on December 11. This annual international conference aims to strengthen relations between the nations by igniting insightful discussions on their unique economic, social and cultural perspectives.

The inaugural ceremony was graced by eminent writer Mani Sankar Mukherji (Sankar), Prof Guo Xiaoming (former Vice-President and Professor, Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences (SASS), Prof Chen Jixiang, (Vice-Director of the Centre for Indian Study, PhD. SASS) and Prof Arindam Banik (Director, IMI Kolkata).

In his inaugural speech, Sankar admired the Chinese policy of ‘talking less and doing more’ and expressed his desire for India to follow its footsteps in this regard. He emphasised the connection between the countries, while hoping for stronger bonds, forged by exchange of knowledge.


Cultural bonds

Prof Guo spoke about the significance of Kolkata in the Indo-China friendship and termed it the sister city of Kunming. Chen expressed eagerness to share ideas and hold discussions to come up with plans that would be helpful to the people of both countries. Prof Banik elaborated on the relationship shared between IMI Kolkata and SASS (China).

The first technical session on Cultural Studies was attended by the ten-member Chinese delegation, faculty of IMI Kolkata, historians and academicians. Chinese delegates presented papers on “Buddhism, Chinese Art and Literature” and the fusion between Indian and Chinese cultures.

The Indo-Chinese cultural bond was emphasised as being a predominant force in the Asian subcontinent. Liu Xiongfeng presented a paper on “From Fa xian to Zhi kong: the integration and development of Indian Buddhist culture in East Asia”.

Productivity, GDP growth

A technical session on “Manufacturing Organisations in India and China” began with Cao Ying, Associate Research Fellow, SASS, China, offering insights on total factor productivity of manufacturing in China and India through the use of Malmquist Index. Various factors such as GDP growth, technical efficiency, efficiency index relevant to each country were described, with ideas presented on what could be done to improve such efficiencies.

Researcher, Chen Jixiang presenting a paper on “Comparative Study of the Impact of Intelligent Manufacturing on the Employment of Agricultural Transfer Labour Forces in China and India.”

Dr Rachana Chattopadhay presented a paper on “Gender bias in performance management system based on behavioral dimensions”, which emphasised the need to improve performances in the workplace.

Comparative studies

The technical session on ‘Sino-Indian Comparative Studies’ covered few crucial topics and well-researched notions, such as the role of films in promoting national, economic strength, cultural inheritance and social and cultural influence. Yan Fuping, Huang Weimin, Poulami Chakraborty and Rituparna Basu presented papers that made a case for India and China to build on each other’s local markets and gain mutually.

Health tourism is usually referred to as synonymous with medical tourism, though they are distinct concepts. The oldest medicine of India, ‘ayurveda’ means science of life and the Chinese medical system based on Yin and Yang deals with five elements of life, drawing from Chinese, Tibetan and Mongolian practices.

The institutional background of the deposit insurance system in both China and India and their differences — inclusive of the major governing body (RBI in India, formed in 1935), and China Bank Insurance Regulatory and Commission (established recently, replacing the People’s Bank of China) were discussed.

Sustainable innovation

The session on ‘Technology, Innovation and Sustainability’ saw professors discuss the dimensions that affect the supply chain and its performance. The advantages of a flexible supply chain over a rigid one were identified.

The topic of innovation and linkages between R&D and information and communication technology capabilities in today's business environment were discussed. Changing sentiments of product reviews on an online platform and its cross-cultural impacts were explored.

Day Two

The second day of the Conference centred on ‘Labour Market and Other Studies’. Speakers at the session were Xiwei Huang, Swapan Chakraborty, Soni Agrawal and Roma Puri, and Ayan Ghosh. Their insights delved into the various gaps between the lives of migrant workers and the local people of the cities to which these rural folks migrate. Other issues were the effect of human resources on the sustainability as well as financial and non-financial operations of an organisation.

The last session revolved around ‘Emerging Economies’. Dripto Bakshi & Indraneel Dasgupta, Rabia Khatoon and Prof Sarojakshya Chatterjee presented on aspects such as the long-term relationship between openness in trade in financial services and financial development in the five BRICS economies, growth of non-banking finance companies and their differences with banks.

The conference ended with a panel discussion on ‘India and China: The Road ahead in Trade and Development’ among Prof Guo, Dr Chen, Prof Banik, Prof Anindya Jyoti Majumdar (Department of International Relations, Jadavpur University), with Prof Abhijit Banerjee (Head of China Bhawan, Biswa Bharati University) as the moderator. There was an exchange of views on areas of concern in bilateral relations and how both countries can work together to improve and strengthen trade cooperation, development, education and culture.