The largest student-run, India-focussed conference in the US, this year's India Conference on March 9-10 will strive not to oversimplify but to embrace contradiction with the theme: India vs. India: Local Strength vs. Global Growth.
The participants at the conference at the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School in the twin cities of Boston and Cambridge will engage with India's diverse realities in a multiplicity of fields, according to the organisers.
As it becomes increasingly clear that one Indian growth story will no longer suffice to explain the reality of India today, the India Conference will seek answers to several of its manifest contradictions, they said.
Among them: How can one of the world's most dynamic and fastest-growing economies lag so far behind its competitors in R&D production? How does the world's largest secular democracy understand its history of both religious violence and vibrant syncretism? How does the world's largest slum proliferate in the midst of a shining new hub of international commerce?
Panel topics include social enterprise, investing in India, education, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, agribusiness, politics, technology, and healthcare.
The conference is also celebrating 50 years of women at Harvard Business School, with its special keynote panel called "The way forward for Indian women in business" where Indian journalist Shereen Bhan will discuss the future of Indian women with business leaders like Aruna Jayanthi, CEO of Capgemini; Debjani Ghosh, MD of Intel - South Asia; and Jyoti Narang, COO of Taj Hotels.
Keynote speakers include Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation; Siddharth Roy Kapur, Bollywood film producer and MD-Studios of UTV Disney; Arun Singh, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy in Washington and Ashish Singh, the Chairman of Bain India.