Our final week was focused on finishing our reports and preparing for our presentations in front of our supervisors, senior faculty members and Madame Principle, who heads up the College. With a Monday morning deadline many of the groups were working over the weekend to make the final edits to their reports. Each group produced well over 10,000 words with topics ranging from FinTech to Farmer Producer Organisations.
After receiving some feedback on our reports, the presentations were formally scheduled for Wednesday morning. However, we got an insight into India’s bizarre work culture when on the morning of the presentations we were told that they had been postponed. Following much confusion and consternation our presentations went ahead that afternoon. Although called a presentation, a more appropriate word would be discussion. Questions were continually posed and there was much debate as they tested our understanding of the topics. David and Harry found their presentation running well over the one hour mark! Having completed our presentations and the internship programme it was time to give out gifts to our supervisors and say some emotional goodbyes.
After completing the internship programme we have been left with some time to reflect on our time in India. The past six weeks have been an incredible experience filled with many highs and some lows and along the way we have made some lifelong friends, ensuring that ‘The Special Relationship’ is still very much intact.
This internship has been about much more than just what we have learned in the classroom and in preparing our reports. We have experienced a different way of life and gotten an insight into the thoughts and aspirations of a proud nation which wishes to be truly powerful on the international stage.
Our time here has opened our eyes to the incredible challenges that India faces. We have witnessed striking inequality and many people living in economic despair. With a population of over 1.3 billion and so many young people about to enter the workforce there will be a huge challenge to ensure formal employment for all.
However we have also encountered the defiant and optimistic spirit of the Indian people. Witnessing the successful overnight roll-out of the new GST (Goods & Services Tax) showed that economic reforms in this country can be successfully implemented and there is hope that with effective governance and policy, India can eventually establish itself as a developed country and lift so many of its population out of poverty.
Finally, we would like to thank those who have made this internship possible, especially the GEO team and the Reserve Bank of India. Also we would like to thank all of the staff at the CAB campus for being so welcoming and making our time there so enjoyable.