In a surprising development, members of the Taliban are expected to be attending a 4-day online course by IIM Kozhikode titled “Immersing with Indian Thoughts” that commenced on Tuesday.
The course is being offered by the Ministry of External Affairs through the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, and would give participants the 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.
Around 30 representatives from several other countries are also participating in the course including business people and entrepreneurs. All the partner countries of the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme have been 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.”
As per sources, the participants from Kabul are attending the course as it is online and they won’t be required to travel to India. They have said that “it is better to educate the Taliban regime rather than isolate them.”
IIM Kozhikode revealed online that all participants for the course were selected and invited by the Ministry of External Affairs itself. It clarified that the institution had no role in the selection process of these candidates nor the knowledge of their political associations.
“The latest ITEC programme will be conducted online by the Institute from 14 -17 March, 2023, under the aegis of the Ministry of External Affairs. Day 1 of the programme on March 14 witnessed online participation from 20 participants from three countries – Afghanistan (18), Thailand (1) and Maldives (1) who joined virtually from their respective countries.”
The fact that the Taliban foreign ministry officials can join the course was revealed by a circular in Dari by the Institute of Diplomacy, Afghanistan, which went viral on social media.
The matter has led to a controversy over India engaging with the Taliban and has raised a question mark over whether the Centre now wants to officially recognize the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.