My Meeting Notes

Dr. D Sundaresan Memorial Oration 2018 “What does the world expect from a Fresh Degree Holder?” 1 April 2019, ICAR-NDRI, Karnal

Mahesh Bhimashankar Tengli and Adeeth Cariappa AG participated in Dr. D Sundaresan Memorial Oration 2018, at, the ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal and they share their experiences here.


ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal, has instituted three awards in memory of veteran Directors Dr. D Sundaresan, Dr. KK Iya and Dr. NN Dastur. The Dr. NN Dastur Memorial Oration Award -2018 was bestowed on Mr. RS Sodhi, while Dr. Ashok Dalwai received the Dr. D Sundaresan Memorial Oration Award-2018. Dr. KK Iya Memorial Oration Award -2018, was presented to Prof. Hitesh V Bhatt, Director, Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), Gujarat, who also delivered Dr. D Sundaresan Memorial Oration 2018 on “What does the world expect from a Fresh Degree Holder?”. The talk was aimed at sensitizing youth of ICAR-NDRI, Karnal, on self-preparedness to face the competitive world. Scientists and students of the institute actively took part in the event.

The event was launched by Dr. RRB Singh, Director ICAR-NDRI, Karnal, Prof. Hitesh V Bhatt, Dr. SK Tomar Academic coordinator and Dr. Lata Sabiki Joint Director Research. The Director paid floral tributes to Dr. D Sundaresan who completed his B.Sc (Agri) in Allahabad Agricultural University (AAU), and M.Sc in Animal Breeding in Iowa State University in1959. He served in different capacities in AAU and Punjab Agricultural University. He was also the Director of ICAR – NDRI between 1970 and 1981. Under his tenure as Director, ICAR-NDRI was recognized nationally and internationally for an OR project (1975) aimed at disseminating research to a cluster of villages and developing two strains (Karan Swiss and Karan Fries) of dairy cattle.

Award Session

The honorable Director read out the citation of Prof.  Hitesh V Bhatt who was born on 03.12.1955 in Jamnagar District of Gujarat. Prof Bhatt completed his B.Tech in IIT Delhi, M.Sc. (Industrial Management) in Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta and Faculty Development Programme from IIM Ahmedabad. He has 38 years of experience in Industrial Management, Teaching, Research, Training and Management. Starting his career with Reliance Limited in 1979 he went on to become CEO of various MNCs. He began his academic career as an Associate Professor in the year 1995, and trained recruits of various public and private organizations such as dairy co-operatives, corporates and IAS probationers. Currently he is serving as the Director of Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA), Gujarat. His current areas of interest include project management, quality management, operational management, industrial and organizational effectiveness and honing soft skills of employees.

Oration Session

“I am not going to talk on how to increase the productivity or what research needs to be done in the next 10-15 years. But, I will talk on how to reach different heights by using what we have which we are yet to know. This is close to my heart,” said Prof. Bhatt.

“During my early days in IRMA, I found students reaching levels only to half of what they could have reached. I found that students were their own stumbling blocks in the way of their growth. I then started talking to students and started making difference to the society. I was of the opinion that growth of an individual doesn’t stop because of ones’ inability, but because of their submission to their own pessimistic thoughts like ‘others can do, I can’t’ or ‘why should I do it?’ The challenge is to change this NO into YES,” he added.

“What does the world expect from a Fresh Degree Holder”?

 The answer to this complicated question was a simple acronym ‘SPARK’, Prof. Bhatt elaborated; S stood for Skills, P for Physical ability, A for Attributes, Attitude and Aptitude, R for Relations and K for Knowledge.

The Skills expected from graduates according to Prof. Bhatt were not only technical skills but also work-related such as managerial and leadership skills. He stressed on inter-personal skills such as active listening: “Because seven percent of what we listen are the words, 38 percent are the intonation and 55 percent is body language”.

“Apart from these the graduates should be able to identify and solve the problems and not just treat the symptoms within their workspace or outside. Handling perceptions plays a crucial role in inter-personal relations where an open dialogue or a mere “WHY has this happened?” would solve the differential perception related issues. Leading people to achieve the incredible by giving people the pride of their work, in other words help people do their best by respecting their work,” he explained.

He spoke on unlearning in a new work environment to learn new things and excel. His suggestion to the audience was to tackle the issues and not the people.

To execute the above skills and handle odd situations one needs to maintain a good Physical ability. Graduates were oriented to various situations which are physically demanding such as odd and long working hours, staying far away from work-place, uncertain conditions, domicile issues, language, work-related stress, and food availability. One of his best advices was to learn different languages; 150 common words of any given language are enough to converse. Prof. Bhatt is proficient in speaking Guajarati, Hindi, Punjabi, English and a few African languages.

The next term was A – Attributes, Attitude and Aptitude. Every graduate was asked to cultivate good attributes such as being on time, helping others, trying hard to work and ready to give off bad attributes. His experience gave a lesson that it is not the time that needs to be managed but it is we who needs to be managed in tune with time. A positive attitude is inevitable for learning and he suggested asking right questions to ourselves. Never say “I have failed or I cannot do it, instead ask what all I should do to make this happen or that I will not fail again”. One has to cultivate an aptitude of unlearning old way of doing in a new workplace. He requested students not to show off their talent, which is unsustainable, let work show, it is sustainable. He also reminded us that “What we do with our degree is important, not from which institution we get the degree”.

Relations are important for a harmonious coexistence. A good relation with peers and the ability to work with others in a team are critical. He stressed on owning up responsibility than pointing at others. Apart from professional relationships students need to learn about managing personal relationships, welcoming newcomers while holding together old buddies.

Students should not confine to technical Knowledge but also acquire knowledge of theory, people, system, variation, society and Nation. In simple words Prof. Bhatt said students must have SoPK which means System of Profound Knowledge.

Prof. Bhatt concluded his oration by stating, “Life does not give you multiple choices of problems, but one has to accept whatever comes their way. You are the people who are closest to actually helping the humanity. Remain relevant all the times. Toil till it pains or till it matters no more and don’t be afraid of being the lone person in a situation. Make use of this opportunity given by NDRI to make a difference in someone’s life and make India proud”.

Valedictory session

The Valedictory speech was delivered by Dr. SK Tomar Academic coordinator. He reiterated some of the points from Prof. Bhatt’s speech and thanked the chief guest, the Director, Joint Director, scientists and the students who were present in record numbers.


  • As an individual we realized how important is asking right questions to solve a problem and to learn new things.
  • We learnt that along with technical knowledge and skills, system of profound knowledge and soft skills are imperative in this competitive world.
  • By paying attention to Prof. Bhatt we realized that his words are actually the words of wisdom (knowledge, understanding, experience and judgment).
  • Be relevant – acquire new skills and that entire SPARK…

Mahesh Bhimashankar Tengli is a PhD scholar, Division of Dairy Extension, ICAR-NDRI, Karnal (


Adeeth Cariappa AG is a PhD scholar, Division of Dairy Economics, Statistics and Management, ICAR-NDRI, Karnal (