Nobel Laureate Esther Duflo delivers the keynote address
The School of Interwoven Arts and Sciences at Krea University welcomed 144 talented students into the second cohort of the undergraduate programme. The inaugural ceremony preceded the virtual five-day interactive orientation event which brought together the incoming cohort, sophomores, faculty and eminent speakers. The classes for the new cohort commenced online from the 1st of September.
The holistic admission process at Krea gauges potential beyond academic scores, ensuring a diverse set of students from varied backgrounds and interests. The students come from over 17 states of India and from various boards of education. In keeping with the University’s need blind admission and need-aware financial assistance process, over 25% of the cohort has received financial assistance.
Dr Sunder Ramaswamy, Vice Chancellor of Krea University welcomed the students with the message of FLARE — Fun, Learning, Adaptability, Resilience and Empathy, he deemed necessary for the young students to embrace, in their life at university. “As you begin the Krea journey, send out a flare into the world. I hope you will make your impact, and as you are trying to make your life better, I hope you also make it matter.” He shared Krea’s mission statement to admit high potential students and prepare humanity for an unpredictable world.
Nobel Laureate and co-founder of J-PAL, Dr Esther Duflo, was the special guest of honour and addressed the students on this momentous occasion. In her keynote address Dr Duflo extended three guiding principles for the students, for their time at Krea and beyond. She encouraged students to embrace diversity, be flexible and not be overwhelmed with problems. Tracing her own journey in life, she added, “You have the luxury of being at a very unique institution that values multi-disciplinary learning. Take this opportunity to take life chances, encounters, and let intellectual discoveries guide you. Embrace nimbleness and flexibility rather than single minded focus on one goal.”
She asked them to celebrate the diversity in their cohort, create social networks and learn from people who are different from their own selves.
“You are here because you want to be change-makers but you might be wondering where to start from. Don’t get overwhelmed. There is no problem however big it is that can’t be broken into smaller pieces. Pick one of those small pieces, apply your mind and skills to it and solve it. Then move to the next one. And don’t worry about the size of the overall challenge, before you know it you would have changed the world and changed yourselves as well.”
Dr Bishnu Mohaptra, Dean of School of Interwoven Arts and Sciences in his message to the students welcomed them to explore the idea of university. “Freedom, diversity and interconnectedness – all these ideas are debated within university and here within Krea. This is a place to debate these ideas and give them a new lease of life. It’s also a place where by giving new life to these ideas, we make them more meaningful, vibrant and useful.” He shared SIAS’s commitment to provide a space in fostering and strengthening these ideas and the ability of students to debate these ideas.
Dr Shobha Das, Dean of IFMR Graduate School of Business at Krea, welcomed the incoming cohort on behalf of the school. She added, “In weaving, two distinct sets of threads are interlaced at right angles to weave a cloth. The two schools, SIAS and GSB are distinct, and the University is woven with threads from the two schools, each distinct but both together forming parts of the woven textured cloth that is Krea.”
The ceremony included special moments from the welcome by the faculty and also the second-year students. Student Meera Trivedi on behalf of the Class of 2022 shared, “What I want to tell you today is that in all of its glory, with the beautiful campus, beyond excellent professors, unique curriculum and the intellectual culture, Krea is essentially what you make of it.”
The orientation programme was put together by the Orientation Team comprising the 2nd year cohort and was themed “Along Came ’23”. The fun and lively five-day long orientation was inspired with themes from gripping TV shows and movies. The event also witness sessions by celebrated activist Kalki Subramaniam and international artist Jacob Boehme.