Passion for excellence: Pranabesh Ray
Academic excellence goes beyond classroom learning, to acquiring knowledge that can be used ultimately for the benefit of mankind
While passion for excellence is a cornerstone for a great institute, it must also emphasize on human values and contribution to society, and having both of these in the right proportion takes an institute to the pinnacle of excellence.
Academic excellence is not merely bookish knowledge and high grades. It must imbibe a passion to search for the truth, enable in-depth analysis and an analytical approach. Thus, it goes beyond classroom learning, to acquiring knowledge that can be used ultimately for the benefit of mankind.
Undoubtedly, research is a primary building block in academic excellence. We try and stress this importance to our faculty who are always in pursuit of excellence through research. Even our assessment system and our rewards mechanism support our constant push towards research and publication. Our faculty consulting assignments also support our pursuit for academic excellence since many a times our teaching materials (e.g. cases etc.) are developed from our interaction with the industry.
Human values and contribution to the society in a sustainable manner also build an excellent Institute. This is all the more important in today’s business scenario where values are only used as fashionable words rather than the society’s lifeline.
As far as I am aware, XLRI is the first B-school in India which has a compulsory ethics course for all its programs. As a part of our culture, the institute believes in ethical behavior. To sustain our belief all students in the Institute have to undergo a course on “ethics and sustainability”which helps the students gain practice in assessing the ethical dilemmas in common business situations and what could help in some ways while searching for answers.
All this has been possible probably because of XLRI’s genesis. The Jesuit background where the priests have naturally been inclined to working for the benefit of the community makes it a natural priority for the institute. Another aspect that helps us keep our focus is the need for self sufficiency. XLRI does not get any grant from any sources and so the only way in which we can ensure continuity is by creating an institute with honesty and integrity, that works ‘for the greater good’.