Kalyan Sankar Mandal
The fourth and final ICCR Chair Professor at Lund University, staying one academic year from September 2013 till mid June 2014, was Professor Kalyan Sankar Mandal from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC) in Kolkata. He was, just like Prof. Karanth, hosted by the Department of Sociology.
SASNET asked Kalyan five question after his leave:
Who are you?
Kalyan Sankar Mandal, Presently, Indian Council of Social Science Research Fellow (ICSSR Fellow); Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, India. Former Professor of Sociology, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC). (Superannuated from the services of IIMC on 30th September, 2015).
What did you do at Lund University?
As Visiting ICCR Chair Professor at the Lund University I was primarily engaged in doing my own research and sharing my research findings with colleagues and students at the University. For this purpose I gave three seminars during my stay. I also took sessions in a course offered by Sociology Department for undergraduate students. I was engaged in providing guidance to M Phil students referred to me in their project work and similarly interacted with PhD students.
What did your time at Lund University bring to your research?
Before visiting Lund University, I made some brief visits to Universities in Europe (as well as US). But somehow, like most Indian academics, in my research, influence of US scholars was stronger. However, spending one academic year in Lund University has widened my horizon to not only Sweden but to the academic world of Europe. Now my academic thinking is more complete in the sense that now the horizon of my academic world is spread over Europe along with US and rest of the world.
What is currently on your research agenda?
Presently I am probing how social development can be promoted in a self-sustaining manner through business. In this connection I am probing the role of ‘compassionate business’, social business, microfinance and ‘Base of the Pyramid’ (BOP) business model in removing poverty and promoting social development.
What was your latest research publication about?
I have just communicated a paper entitled “Making of a Social Business: Towards Self-reliant Way of Achieving Social Development” for publication in a journal. Presently I am engaged in writing a book entitled “ Social Development through Business” for which I have signed a contract with an US based international publisher.
On Wednesday 9th October 2013, Prof. Mandal held his installation lecture as Visiting Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) chair professor at Lund University, with a presentation entitled ”Regional Diversities in Indian Society”, focusing on regional variations in the status of women in India and the social development situation in India. Venue: Kulturens Hörsal, Tegnérplatsen, Lund. After the presentation, Prof. Mandal received an impressive amount of questions and viewpoints from the numerous students attending the eminar, contesting his main arguments regarding a sharp cultural difference between North and South India put forward by him.
Indian Ambassador Banashri Bose Harrisson was the guest of honour, and she held an introductory speech. Welcome addresses were also delivered by Professor Sven Strömqvist, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Lund University; Associate Professor Ann-Katrin Bäcklund, Dean for the Faculty of Social Sciences at Lund University; and Dr. Anna Lindberg, Former Director at SASNET.
On Tuesday 21 January 2014, at 12.00, Prof. Kalyan Mandal held a SASNET lecture at Lund University on ”Reaching Benefits of Anti-poverty Programmes to the Poor: The Indian Experience”.
Abstract: Marginalised sections of the society often remain deprived of the fruits of development. This fact necessitates governments to design special development programmes aiming at benefiting the poor. In his presentation, Prof. Mandal reviewed Indian experiences in this regard. He traced the origins, evolution and shaping of pro-poor programmes in India, and analysed how and why these programmes often fail to benefit the poor. He also showed under what type of circumstances the poor get benefitted from such programmes.
The ICCR professorship
An ICCR professorship programme was run at Lund University during four years, 2010–2014. The programme was an outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Lund University, that was signed on 22 June 2010 by Mr. Balkrishna Shetty, former Indian Ambassador to Sweden, and Prof. Per Eriksson, Vice-Chancellor, Lund University. The agreement was valid for four years, with a new Indian Professor being selected each year. It has now come to an end.
SASNET was actively involved in finalizing the ICCR professorship programme at Lund University, with strong support from the Embassy of India in Stockholm. In April 2010, SASNET’s director, Dr. Anna Lindberg, participated in an official Lund University delegation to Delhi, where final negotiations were held with representatives of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, regarding the proposed Indian visiting guest professorship at Lund University.