ASHOKA UNIVERSITY LEADERSHIP SUMMIT 2018                                                    

“Leadership is not a position or a title. It is action and example.”


             Leaders, as we all know, are very important in all spheres of life. They not only give one common direction to people, but also make sure that all problems are handled efficiently and effectively. Being a leader involves having a vision and motivating others to carry on the path to achieve the goal.


             With this motto in mind, Ashoka University hosted its second edition of the ASHOKA UNIVERSITY LEADERSHIP SUMMIT. This was not like any other two-day event where one would simply discuss how to become a leader, but it also dealt with the diverse areas where leadership has played its role, and how one can incorporate their values into their work. The second day saw the delegates discussing and deliberating on various issues, and coming up with perfect plan to solve it. During this summit, various dedicated delegates had the opportunity to hear from people who have impacted sectors like Education, Food and Water Security and, Technology. One of the delegates, Mukta thought that these two days, for her, were very engaging and made her realise that it is possible for a person to make a career out of his/her passion; that you don’t have to choose your life ahead based on what others around you want. She also mentioned that it is very important to achieve your goals, but you cannot ignore the common problems that surround you and affect your performance.


              Day 1 of the event saw prominent panelists like Richa Singh, who started a company to help people in stress by giving free counselling after one of her acquaintance committed suicide. She has also been featured in the ‘Forbes 30 under 30 Asia: Healthcare & Science’ list. She believes that in your life, you witness one event which changes it entirely and gives it a new meaning. Another speaker, Amit Goyal, heading EdX in India, talked about his company, which provides academic certification to students who have the potential to study in foreign universities but are unable to reach there due to financial constraints. The study material is the same; you take the course online and on payment of a nominal fee, you get a Harvard University certificate. My favourite panel comprised of three women - Ms. Vyjanthi Shankar, Ms. Kiran Bhatty and Ms. Samyuykta Subrahmaniam, who opened our eyes towards the poor condition of elementary education in our country. After conducting research, they concluded that rote was an ineffective method for learning. This is because evidences show that the students are so used to questions being asked in a particular way, that a small change in the question framing makes them attempt the question incorrectly. All the people who came ensured that the delegates left with their thoughts changed, and made sure that the youth of today starts understanding their responsibilities and taking action. The same zeal was reflected on the second day when the delegates, after discussing, pitched their ideas on how they would solve certain problems in the society.  


               The closing of the summit was marked by the presence of the esteemed Finance Minister of Punjab, Mr. Manpreet Badal. He greeted all the students with a smiling face and warm hands. During his visit, he didn’t let his power come in the way of his humbleness and marked the end of the leadership summit by showing a live example to the delegates of what a true leader is and should be like. Hearing him made me realise that one should always strive to make the society a better place. He also brought the plight of Punjab to our notice, and mentioned that that even though the people of this state produce food for the country and protect the nation, they are not getting enough attention and respect.


               Behind any successful event goes a lot of hard-work of the team responsible for organising it. One of the organisers, Shivank, felt that it was an energising experience for him, not only as the person behind stage, but also because he got to meet and learn from the intellectual panelists. Abdur, another Ashokan who has been associated with AULS for the past two years, felt nostalgic on seeing the event grow under the new team. It was a moment of both happiness and pride for him to see the leadership summit as it was in those two days. He hopes that this summit would become better with every passing year and with this dream in mind, the curtain of Ashoka University Leadership Summit, 2018 closed, to be opened again next year with a bigger bang.