A different guest lecture, for a change

Whenever we hear the words “Guest Talk” most of us groan because so far the only purpose guest lectures have served are:

eating up into our personal time, which we would otherwise spend sleeping, etc.

drinking good tea and getting decent pastries

a good place to sleep and not be afraid of the consequences of getting caught.

However, today was a welcome change from the run-of-the-mill guest lectures. We had Mr Robert Blake, Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy at New Delhi coming down all the way to Indore to give a talk on Indo-US Bilateral Relations.

There we were expecting an American to come and deliver the usual stuff which none of us ever pay attention to. But then, we were in for a few surprises.

Firstly, he finished his talk in a little more than 20-25 minutes, which is a good way off from the usual quota of 45-60 minutes most guest talks take. Then he went on to take questions from us, to which he replied with the utmost candor and honesty. The questions ranged from

backlash against outsourcing of services to India

methods to improve people-to-people contacts between the two countries

how trade and economic indicators pointed to both countries having a great future together

WTO issues regarding agriculture and the related Singapore issues

Plus the fact that he took most questions including the controversial ones on Iraq and Afghanistan well and managed to bring his diplomatic skills to the fore in answering them made the proceedings quite interesting. The way he handled the WTO question was also quite educative.

At the end of it all, I’m sure most of us had the feeling of 75 well-spent minutes. I sincerely wish the Institute would arrange more useful guest talks like these.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s