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Ethics kick-start XLRI extravaganza
- B-school bash talks of bridging islands of prosperity to stem Naxalism

Ensemble, the three-day big-ticket XLRI fest, started on Friday on an ethical note, as budding managers were asked to bridge the gap between the rich and poor to stem problems such as Naxalism.

“India has islands of prosperity. The 7 per cent economic growth won’t help the country if it is not equitable,” the chief guest of the inaugural session, Mahindra Group executive vice-president Allen Sequeira, stressed in his address. He also attributed Naxalism as an offshoot of this economic divide.

Quoting Mother Teresa, he said: “Every drop in the ocean creates a ripple.”

Fr Michael Thanaraj, president of Jesuit Society of Jamshedpur, said: “The pursuit of corporate profit should not exclude the less fortunate or the less skilled,” he said.

Calling India a “land of contradictions”, he added that indigenous people were the “worst affected in the country’s pursuit of economic success”. Citing hard-hitting figures, he said: “Despite 16,000 colleges and 6,000 institutions of higher education, one third of the population is illiterate.”

XLRI director Father E Abraham hoped Ensemble, as “a platform for the brightest minds from India’s top B-schools” would help students bridge the economic gap.

Student teams from IIMs of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, Ranchi and Indore, ISB-Hyderabad, MDI-Gurgaon, Delhi School of Economics, among others, listened to the insights.

Inaugural session over, it was time to pit their wits in events such as Pallas Athena, a three-day contest to test business acumen. The flagship HR event “War of Wits” saw students getting tested on recruitment strategies.

Crowd-pullers included the outdoor event Quest Adventura as well as a fun Bollywood quiz.

XLRI also saw the opening of the three-day national convention hosted by the Centre for Global Management and Responsible Leadership and the Ensemble team to share case studies on responsible corporate leadership.

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