Anecdotes from the North Block: Policy Lessons for a post COVID Indian Economy

Asia Society Museum & Asia Society India Centre

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Thursday, Jul 22, 2021
from 10:30 PM to 11:30 PM (UTC)

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Asia Society Museum & Asia Society India Centre





Virt India

“India needs to shift from its relatively vertical structure of permission system which slows down decisions to a more horizontal, partitioned democracy,” writes Prof. Kaushik Basu in his new book “Policymaker’s Journal: From New Delhi to Washington D.C”, commenting on the nature of policymaking in the country. As India works on getting its economy back on its feet post two years of stultifying economic progress, consensus-based policymaking could be the best way forward. Though the extent of stakeholder involvement in policy formulation is debatable, inclusive and progressive policies will require all voices to be heard.

The ongoing global economic slowdown has much in common with the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Back in the day, the country’s economy underwent significant adjustments on account of the crisis. What followed were a series of socio-economic and political developments which resulted in the great recovery story for India, so much so that in the succeeding years, India’s growth rate moved ahead of China. For experts like Prof. Basu who had transitioned from academia into the world of Indian politics and policy planning, this time proved to be amongst the most crucial years for the Indian economy.

Economic recovery in India will also depend heavily on how policy planners engage with timely, evidence-based models while also adapting to the dynamic changes triggered by the digital world. In a global economy which is increasingly moving towards protectionist policies, how can India spearhead an equitable and inclusive economic strategy? Going forward, how should policy planners navigate real-world politics in a post-COVID-19 global order? And even as they assume these Herculean tasks, it is also important to consider that they are human after all, and unrealistic expectations that fulfil one’s utopian ideals and pre-conceived designs of governance are only unfair.

Join us for a conversation on an insider’s view of economic policy planning in India and globally, lessons for post-COVID-19 economic revival and a candid and witty account of the nature and process of decision-making in the country with Prof. Kaushik Basu and Prof. Arvind Subramanian. The discussion will be moderated by Tanvir Gill.


Asia Society Museum & Asia Society India Centre