Saturday, June 30, 2012

Interesting reading

Bibek Debroy on "We stupid brutes": "I have some money in my wallet.  A thief comes along and steals some of it.  For most people, the reaction should be one of anger.  The anger should remain, even if it is somewhat muted, if the thief explains this theft has been done because that money has to be donated to the poor.  This is not as bizarre a metaphor as one might think, because that’s precisely what has happened since 2004.

Niranjan Rajadhyaksha on "Returing to the age of Ranade""The quest to build a modern India began in those decades, and the early university graduates and progressive rulers such as Sayajirao were umbilically linked to this quest. India in the last decades of the 19th century was akin to Europe in the years of the Renaissance— rediscovering its roots as well as yearning for a modern future."

Anjuli on "Hold them accountable"Why is this a big deal? After all, any corporate hospital offers the same facility. The big deal is that one, the facility at Gudiyattam is free (private hospitals, on the other hand, charge a hefty fee). Two, the facility is available across 220 government hospitals and the same unique registration number can be used at any one of these to access a patient’s medical records.

Arvind Panagariya on "A forgotten revolutionary""We are determined to address the problems of the economy in a decisive manner," Rao said in his stoic voice. "This government is committed to removing the cobwebs that come in the way of rapid industrialisation. We will work towards making India internationally competitive, taking full advantage of...opportunities offered by the evolving global economy...We also welcome foreign direct investment so as to accelerate the tempo of development, upgrade our technologies and to promote our exports. Obstacles that come in the way of allocating foreign investment on a sizable scale will be removed. A time-bound programme will be worked out to streamline our industrial policies and programmes to achieve the goal of a vibrant economy that rewards creativity, enterprise and innovativeness." 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The beast called Raj

Dr.Ashok V Desai writes:

"We ended the licence permit raj in industry, but I was thrown out of the ministry before I could do more damage. The finance ministry continues its licence permit raj in exchanges to this day. ... However, the Congress raj ended temporarily in 1996."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Growth, Development and Prosperity

Here is my latest article published in the June Issue of Pragati. This piece is based on my talk given at Sikkim Central University, Gangtok (see here my earlier post).

A bit from the piece:
  • The book not only has startling articulations on numerous national and international issues but also has well-researched analysis of about 60 years of the history of economy and polity in India. For instance, it is not common to see Economists like Amartya Sen come up brutally and say that India’s GDP growth is helped by the supportiveness of the economic climate rather than by the ruthlessness of the political system and that the roots of the economic climate are being increasingly hampered by politically engaged community without the public reasoning.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Culture and economics

Niranjan has this wonderful piece on decoding the red-beacon culture and economics.

Here is another piece by Prof Boudreauk of GMU, USA arguing about "The mass production that is a hallmark of modern market economies is made possible not chiefly by money but by culture and institutions."

Friday, June 15, 2012

Prof Elinor Ostrom (1933-2012)

By this time, many of you might have already read the sad news of passing away of a great classical liberal economist and the only Noble Prize winner in Economics so far. I am talking about Prof Elinor Ostrom

Here are some interesting introspects which enriches our ignorance.

In 2011 interview with NDVT she said not something new but an important aspect which otherwise gets credits of take always granted.
  • I urge people to respect the indigenous people. In terms of health knowledge, there is a lot of indigenous knowledge about herbs and other things that work for illness and how to manage illness in an effective way. But we also find that sometimes indigenous knowledge is wrong and as we do tough science, we say “no, that’s wrong”. What I object to is the presumption that the government officials have got all the knowledge and locals have none.
There are many obituary's on Prof Ostrom. Read some of these here, here, here, here. Finally, her last article published is here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The problematic RTE

A brief essay of mine has appeared first time in Tamil on the Right to Education Act, 2009 in the May Issue of newly launched Tamil Monthly Magazine "Aazham" (In-depth). My Tamil friends can find the brief article here (PDF) in page number 18-19 (at the bottom).

Monday, June 11, 2012

Spirit of entrepreneurs

During my recent visit to Hyderabad, I had pleasure of meeting this "Chartered Accountant–turned ‘rural activist' Ravi Kumar Reddy". He does a great service to the rural community.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Why I say, its must read?

Below are two articles which are by all means must read. One on cartoon textbooks and the other one is on why Indian economists don't understand the law.

  • "Indian cartoonists take this irreverence and turn it around in various ways till we arrive at Independence and the British depart, leaving mostly home-grown targets for our cartoonists to aim at." More here.
  • "When the history of the Indian economy is written twenty years down the line, we will look back at the 2004 to 2014 decade as one that was just as damaging as mid-1960s to mid-1970s, if not worse, because the world has changed.  As was the case during that earlier decade, contrary views are not encouraged and are marginalized.  Advisers, bureaucrats and economists flow along with the tide.  That’s partly because views of many people are malleable.  That’s a requisite trait for survival." More here.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Getting back to slowage economy

From The Economist: "Graft, confusion and red tape have infuriated domestic businesses and harmed investment. A high-handed view of foreign investors has made a big current-account deficit harder to finance, and the rupee has plunged."

"Not sensitive to atmosphere, the future George V told Gopal Krishna Gokhale in November, 1905, that he had “never seen a happier people”. Clearly, the lustily cheering mobs misled him. Indians are like that, witness the immensely rich chairman of a multinational corporation ingratiatingly following a senior British diplomat all round the room during a recent reception in Calcutta." More here

After all Taylor rule makes sense.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Good time, bad news

First, Gujarat CM gave very interesting interview to ET but not surprising at least to me. It is must read whether you like him or not. Also read this news story.

Second, Arvind had nice piece on healthcare law of United States of America in the DNA. 

Third, read the cover story on economist Montek titled The Riddler on the Roop.

Forth, read this Mint news item carefully written: "But that in no way diminishes our respect for a man who has been part of a group of able policy economists which helped redesign Indian economic policy after 1980. By helping put India on a path of faster growth, these men have done far more for the poor than the busybodies and peddlers of poverty porn who are now attacking him."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Never rested

"It was a fine thing said of a subaltern officer in the Peninsular campaigns, observed trudging alone through mud and mire by the side of his regiment, "There goes 15,000L. a year!" and in our own day, the bleak slopes of Sebastopol and the burning soil of India have borne witness to the like noble self-denial and devotion on the part of our gentler classes; many a gallant and noble fellow, of rank and estate, having risked his life, or lost it, in one or other of those fields of action, in the service of his country." More here.

Unknown and a culture

  • "T.S. Eliot was only 29 when he wrote his greatest poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, while Robert Frost wrote one of his most anthologized poems,Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, when he was 48. Orson Welles madeCitizen Kane when he was 26, while Alfred Hitchcock made Vertigo when he was 59. Pablo Picasso painted Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, his first major Cubist work, when he was 26, while Paul Cezanne painted his Château Noirwhen he was 64. Wolfgang Mozart composed The Marriage of Figaro at the age of 30, while Ludwig van Beethoven composed Symphony No. 9 at the age of 54." More here.