Shillong, July 24 IANS | 5 months ago

Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Thursday urged students of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM)-Shillong to emerge as creative leaders to bring about the required change in the country.

"I want to see all of you as creative leaders to bring about the required change," Kalam said, while delivering a lecture "Dimensions of National Development" at the prestigious B-school.

The "missile man", as Kalam is also known due to his background in aerospace engineering and his role in India's indigenous missile development, is one of the visiting faculty members in IIM-Shillong.

Kalam spoke about the challenges that India and the world were facing and emphasised on the role of leadership to tackle these issues and develop possible solutions to ensure socio-economic development.

He said the key requirement for achieving a distinctive profile for the nation was by creating sustainable enterprise-driven models at the rural level.

Kalam urged the students to emulate a development model to bring urban amenities to rural areas.

"Providing Urban amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) is one such system which I suggest will help in providing opportunities through cooperative working of resource and social entrepreneur in the rural areas," he said.

"PURA is the creation of physical, electronic, knowledge connectivities leading to electronic connectivity of rural regions.

"With this combined and planned intervention of infrastructure, digital technology, information and enterprise, we can select a cluster of about 20 to 50 villages, which share core competencies and empower those using local enterprise. This would enable our country to grow by shared efforts and overcome the challenges faced by the society," he said.

Charting out a link between creative leadership and economic development, the former president emphasised on the importance of the role that change in leadership would play for ensuring success.

He also accentuated on the role of integrity among leaders for sustained success and development of the society.

Kalam also met the faculty members to discuss the role of academicians in promoting creative leadership among students for the betterment of the society.

The IIM in the Meghalaya capital is named after late former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. It was started in 2008 and functions from a makeshift campus at the Mayurbhanj complex, the erstwhile summer palace of the kings of Mayurbhanj in Odisha.

The Meghalaya government has allotted a 120-acre plot on which work is under way for a state-of-the-art academic-cum-residential campus.

(Posted on 24-07-2014)

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