The afternoon session on 30th April 2014 with Mr. Joern Rohde, Consul General, German Consulate General Bangalore was a greatly enriching experience. After a light hearted interaction with the students, the Consul General took the floor, introduced himself and elucidated his role as a German diplomat by sharing his experiences in Europe with the Hamburg Chambers of Commerce and the European Commission in Brussels. Mr. Joern Rohde went on to define the role of the Consulate in political advocacy, upholding Indo-German Relations in Asia, his Oriental Experiences including Japan, China and Korea and his overall assessment of the German presence in Asia.
Mr. Joern Rohde spoke of the expanding German footprint in the world and the need to consolidate that potential in the competitive global markets. Germany is positive and enthusiastic about India as they see potential and believe in it. The discussion ranged from Free Trade Agreements to German Academia exchange in the fields of science and culture, or from ‘Elecrama’, the electronics fair conducted in Bangalore International Exhibition Centre to the German Vocational training system which allows all from a carpenter to a scientist to study and get practical exposure, every week of the month. He reiterated problems of the sluggish trajectory of operations that come with Elections or with practical aspects like infrastructure and energy resource. Lastly, he highlighted great wastage of skilled manpower reserves as ninety percent of Indian engineers eventually diversify and change field whereas in Germany most engineers remain in their field.
The Consul General went on to speak of how India was on the radar for rewarding experiences. Mr. Rohde also discussed how India and Germany both share the same optimism towards upholding democratic values. China has realised a lot of its potential, but Mr. Rohde emphasised that a free mind cannot prosper without an environment that allows an individual the freedom to express oneself and results in the fullest manifestation and realisation of one’s true potential. India has a lot of scope to realise the full potential. At the same time India has a great number of challenges that are an impediment to the success of the Indian economy and the functioning of operations in Bangalore in particular.
Mr. Rohde shared an article he had read in the Economist journal- of how the German Dual system had failed when implemented in England because the network of Chambers of Commerce, which is essential for the Dual Education System, was missing. He also spoke of the potential for pursuing higher studies in Germany and compared the system to England and the Americas.
To bring the session to a close, the students of IGTC presented the Consul General with a souvenir of Lord Ganesha, who symbolises good luck. With the vote of thanks and a group photograph to serve memory well, it was an afternoon well spent.