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Kaushik Basu shares his vision for India with the Ladies Study Group

The Friday morning session began with two distinguished personalities from the domain of economics engaging in a virtual talk

Hannah Nicole D’souza | Published 01.02.22, 12:21 AM

A lot was discussed in an informative session featuring Kaushik Basu and hosted by the Ladies Study Group on January 21. The Friday morning session began with two distinguished personalities from the domain of economics engaging in a virtual talk on the topic of Basu’s latest book titled Policymaker’s Journal: From New Delhi to Washington, D.C. and rising economic issues in India. The discussion was moderated by Anup Kumar Sinha, chairperson of Bandhan Bank. The audience also consisted of members of the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) who participated in a question-and-answer session.

Policymaker’s Journal: From New Delhi to Washington, D.C. documents Basu’s seven years in the world of policy and the session aimed to discuss his experience in policy and contemporary challenges and prospects of the Indian economy. The book stemmed from Basu’s interest in observing Delhi’s bureaucracy while handling his responsibilities and contains his notes on the fascinating world of economy and policy that he was drawn into. Basu is a former chief economic advisor to the government of India and former chief economist of the World Bank, and is presently the professor of economics and Carl Marks professor at SC Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University.

The session kicked off with a strong exchange of opinions on data and India’s current foggy state with the same. Basu pointed out that while India used to be “historically remarkable” in the quality of data produced, there has been a bit of a setback. “I was an obsessive researcher. For me, the world of economics that I had come into, many economists said they had become one because they wanted to improve the state of the world. I have a confession, I never came into economics for that. For me, it was the logical puzzle of the economy and trying to understand it... to look and discover patterns you can see in an analysis of an economy,” elaborated Basu about his research and his book.

Basu further elaborated on India’s growth and its relation to the rate of inflation. Another point of concern raised was the rising reaction to globalisation on a grassroots level across the globe. Basu stated that he doesn’t feel that there can be a complete severance from the concept of globalisation. The discussion also mentioned how pulling back sharply on the fiscal deficit would be a mistake and that the fiscal deficit should be kept at a high for another year before pulling back.

The session also debated on the alarming unemployment rates in India, especially amongst the youth, which has become a distressing factor and the rising need to support small businesses to generate employment. The session finally came to an end as Sucheta Merh, vice president of Ladies Study Group, graciously thanked the panel for the insightful opinions and the knowledge shared.

“Dr Basu, an outstanding researcher, teacher, and advisor to the government of India and World Bank, enthralled the members of LSG with his discourse on various economic issues and current challenges. He started with Policymaker’s Journal and then delved into his vision of the Indian economic policy. He also elaborated on the recent trend of protectionism, the move away from the open economy and WTO, and explained the future of crypto or digital currency. Interaction with the president and the past president of ICC took the event to greater heights,” said Sumita Roy, president of Ladies Study Group.

Last updated on 01.02.22, 12:21 AM
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