The four-day course about "Immersing with Indian thoughts" being conducted by IIM has participants from the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. The invitation was sent out by the External Affairs ministry and appears to be another step by India in engaging with the Taliban in Afghanistan without recognising the regime.
Delegates from several other countries are also attending the online course, which starts today.
The course is being offered by the Ministry of External Affairs through the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode. All the partner countries of the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme were invited for the course.
The course synopsis says, "India's uniqueness lies in its unity in diversity which makes it seem like a complex space for outsiders. This programme facilitates a deeper understanding of the latent order within the apparent chaos that will help foreign officials and executives gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of India's business environment."
The organisers also added that the participants will get an opportunity to experience and learn about India's economic environment, cultural heritage, social backdrop, and more.
"This course provides participants an opportunity to experience and learn about India's economic environment, regulatory ecosystem, leadership insights, social and historical backdrop, cultural heritage, legal and environmental landscape, consumer mindsets, and business risks," the synopsis said.
According to details on the ITEC website, there will be a max of 30 participants which will be a mix of government officials, business leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs.
Outlining the course, the website mentions sessions in leadership insights into Indian thoughts, social and historical evaluation of India and the richness of cultural heritage.
People familiar with the matter said that many participants from Kabul are attending the course as it is online and they won't be required to travel to India. People in the know said that it is better to educate the Taliban regime rather than isolate them.
The fact that Taliban foreign ministry officials can join the programme was revealed by a circular in Dari by the Institute of Diplomacy, Afghanistan. The circular has gone viral on social media.
India re-opened its embassy in Kabul in July 2022, 10 months after the Taliban take-over, by deploying what it called a "technical team". The Ministry of External Affairs said this was to "closely monitor and coordinate" humanitarian assistance.