TAPMI Founder’s day and 31st T. A. Pai Memorial Lecture by Shri. Navin B Chawla (IAS), Former Chief Election Commissioner of India
TAPMI celebrated its Founder’s day with great reverence on 17th of January 2014 at the Syndicate Bank Golden Jubilee Auditorium in Manipal. The event was inaugurated with the Lamp Lighting ceremony, by Dr. Ramdas Pai (Padma Bhushan Awardee), Chancellor, Manipal University, Dr. H.S. Ballal Pro-Chancellor Manipal University, Shri Navin Chawla (IAS), Former Chief Election Commissioner of India, Mrs. Rupika Chawla, and Dr. R.C. Natarajan, Director-TAPMI. The faculty and students of TAPMI along with other guests attended the event at the venue.
The event kick started with Prof. Rajiv Shah reminiscing about the foundation of TAPMI which was formerly known as Manipal Institute of Management and was later rechristened as T. A. Pai Management Institute in the memory of its founder Late Shri T. A. Pai (Padma Bhushan Awardee). Dr. Natarajan spoke about the recent electoral atmosphere building up in the nation and the questions that come to our mind thinking about the relevance of India’s democracy. He spelt out the topic of the lecture as “Have we made a mockery of democracy?” and welcomed Shri Navin Chawla to deliver the same.
Shri Chawla started his lecture with a few instances from his tenure stating about how the country has evolved in terms of democracy. He referred to the Indian General Elections as the world’s largest and most complex management exercise and went on to elaborate in numbers how expansive the scale of this event was. He also highlighted some key issues that are often overlooked. Among these was one where eligible voters are obstructed from voting by certain affluent groups and how this was resolved by a technique known as “vulnerability mapping” and subsequent installation of “auxiliary polling stations” in the areas affected to enable voting by weaker communities in rural areas.
While presenting his views on the Aam Aadmi Party and its recent victory in New Delhi, he highlighted how after many years a political party was able to contest and win without using either money or muscle power. Quoting some instances where electoral victory was obtained by a marginal number of votes, he emphasized the importance of each and every vote and encouraged the audience to make sure they exercise their right to franchise.
The lecture delivered by Shri Chawla was conceptually stimulating and helped clear many myths about the democratic system in the country. He also encouraged the Indian youth to understand the importance of electoral power that rests in their hands and urged that they use it wisely every time the nation calls for an election.
The event also included the presentation of “TAPMI Long Service Awards” by Dr. Ramdas Pai to two employees, Mr. N. G. Nayak and Mrs. Bharati Bhakta for completing 30 years and 20 years of service at TAPMI respectively. The program came to an end with Prof. Rajiv Shah proposing vote of thanks to the esteemed dignitaries and all those present as also support system/staff for their efforts in making the event a memorable one.