''There is an aura to having studied at LSE. Coming here is like visiting a temple of knowledge.'
Twenty officer trainees from the Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IAAS) spent last week at LSE undertaking a customised LSE Enterprise programme. During three days in the classroom, followed by a tour of the House of Lords, they learned about contemporary challenges in the UK and the global economy, the economic and financial crisis, public sector trends and other topics relevant to their work.
IAAS audits the accounts of the Union and State governments and public sector organisations, promoting the efficient use of public revenue. The programme request came from the India Audit Office at London’s High Commission of India, who were very keen for the participants to experience teaching at LSE.
R. Naresh, Counsellor (Audit) at the High Commission, says ‘The main idea was to get some economics exposure from an internationally excellent institution. The participants were trained in the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Lucknow but we thought they should also experience the next level up - somewhere international like LSE which is globally renowned in the economic and social sciences.
‘Some participants are scientists, others are from humanities or social science backgrounds. But many will become policymakers and therefore need to know how to channel the Indian economy to make it world leading.
‘We worked with LSE Enterprise to design a short programme with salient features such as civil service reform, the recent financial crisis and the economic slowdown, looking at what options there are for emerging economies like India. We also covered some technical areas like derivatives, which as Warren Buffet says is a largely unknown area.
'We chose the UK partly because we have the high commission and a branch of the Indian Audit & Accounts Department here, and other institutional attachments. But LSE was the key. India and the UK have longstanding relations and LSE is part of that, with its long history of engagement with India. Even though this is a very short programme, there is an aura to having studied at LSE. Coming here is like visiting a temple of knowledge.'
Sir John Bourn, LSE Visiting Professor and Honorary Fellow of LSE, was one of the course tutors. He says: 'When I was Comptroller and Auditor General of the UK I had strong professional links, and friendships, with colleagues in the Indian Audit Service.
'Because the Indian Audit Service is already a well-developed professional public audit service it is well able to make full use of the latest developments in social science, which LSE, with its exceptional international standing, is well able to provide - in policy analysis, political science, international relations, economics and other social sciences.
'The course also provided the opportunity for colleagues from India to update their understanding of current developments in the UK - the British Government announced further changes while the course was being held - in such areas as civil service structure and management. They learned about the latest experience in the wide variety of public private partnerships and linkages with private sector practice that the current Coalition government has at the centre of its arrangements for policy implementation. They raised many searching questions about the constitutional significance of these changes and their practical implications.'
LSE Enterprise works with LSE academics to undertake consultancy, commercial research and executive education for clients around the world. Find out more about customising a programme at LSE for your organisation, or about working with us (LSE login required). See also therelated blog post.