My personal greetings to every one of you!
Let me first congratulate you for joining the two-year Postgraduate programme of IIM Calcutta. You deserve our appreciation for all the efforts you have put in for securing your seat in the coveted flagship academic programme of the oldest and the most prestigious IIM in the country. You will discover for yourself some of the distinctive attributes of IIMC in the next two years that you spend with us on its lush green campus. Over the past half a century or so, IIMC has acquired a characteristic niche among the institutions of management in India and beyond. Its ‘triple-crown’ is revealing of its academic standing and institutional stature. Far from the madding crowd, its self-contained campus replete with the rich flora and fauna, plentiful water bodies, and the chirping of birds, create a serene environment ideal for learning and reflective pursuits. Its world class faculty and the state-of-the-art infrastructure render it an enviable academic destination for so many young people like you. You will soon be part of a vibrant student body and will be participating in the diverse cultural and co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. Most of these activities are student-run, and I am sure, you will nurture and sustain this lofty tradition of ours.
Over the next two years, you will attend classes, successfully complete all the compulsory and elective courses, write numerous assignments, and engage in sundry other academic activities that will lead to your graduation. I fondly hope that you will adhere to the PGP Rules and Regulations in your conduct inside the classroom and beyond. I have immense faith in your ability to conduct yourself in a responsible manner and live up to the highest standards of academic integrity and personal probity. Indeed, I have unusually high expectations of you. You will not give me an opportunity where I have to even think of a disciplinary action on an issue.
I wish you a productive and academically stimulating stay on the campus. In the two years that you will spend here, we will have numerous occasions to meet and interact with one another. Please feel free to get in touch with at any time of the day if you need some help. As I write this I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s Letter to his Son’s Headmaster. Please do read it if you can. I end by just quoting few lines from that letter:
Teach him, if you can, the wonder of a book...but also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on a green hillside. In school, teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat...Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong.....Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders, but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul. Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob...and to stand and fight if he thinks he is right. Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself, because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind