12 Jan 2018 18:35 IST

‘Waterman of India’ to address IIM-C

Rajendra Singh will deliver the keynote address during a two-day conference on sustainability

Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C) is organising a two-day conference on issues related to sustainability, on January 13 and 14.

The Sustainability and Business Conference (SUSBUS-2018) is being organised under the aegis of Centre for Development and Environment Policy of IIM-C. Water conservationist Rajendra Singh, also known as the ‘waterman of India’, will deliver the keynote address.

The aim of the conference is to address the debate on sustainability, taking the ‘society vs. business’ perspective and bringing together differing views in academia as well as practice for discussion and debate, a statement IIM-C said.

Sustainability — need of hour

A debate on sustainability is the need of the hour, Ramendra Singh, professor at the institute , said.

As per WHO estimates, close to 4.6 million people die each year from causes directly related to air pollution. India accounted for about 28 per cent of an estimated nine million pollution-linked deaths worldwide in 2015. Close to one billion people across the world live in slums, 2.5 billion people lack proper sanitation, almost one billion people over the age of 15 are illiterate.

“These statistics are scary, but also gives a call to us as management scholars to find solutions to these pressing problems. These two sides in the same society can present problems and conflicts in future,” he said.

Impactful and meaningful implementation of sustainability depends, to a large extent, on the institutionalisation of the right mind-set, attitudes as well as behaviour within organisations, its employees, customers, shareholders, and all other stakeholders as well.

Debate and discussion

The conference will witness debate on the various areas of sustainability, and will encourage participants to spend some more of their research time to develop solutions to the world’s most pressing problems faced by the society and the planet today.

Over 300 research papers have been submitted from across the world, out of which around 70 papers have been selected for oral presentations, and 40 for poster presentations.