Eminent economist Arvind Panagariya is bringing together policy experts and academicians from distinguished universities to contribute to substantive economic policy analyses on issues confronting the Indian economy that can further help develop a reform agenda for the government to be elected in the 2019 national polls. Panagariya, who had served as the first Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog from January 2015 to August 2017, said the aim to bring together the economists and policy experts, under the auspices of the Deepak and Neera Raj Centre at Columbia University, is to enable “more serious economic policy analyses” on topics such as international trade policy, financial sector reforms, civil service and judicial reforms, privatisation, poverty, employment and health among other.
“India’s reform process is far from over. Good progress has been made but a considerable distance is still to be covered. In the complex world of today, one needs more serious economic policy analyses by experts on issues relevant to India,” Panagariya, the Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy at Columbia University, told PTI here.
Noted academicians and economic experts who have so far joined hands with Panagariya in this initiative are University Professor (Economics, Law, and International Affairs) at Columbia University Jagdish Bhagwati, former Deputy Governor of RBI and Senior Fellow at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University Rakesh Mohan, Professor of International Economics and Business at Johns Hopkins University Pravin Krishna, Economics Professors at Syracuse University Mary Lovely and Devashish Mitra and Professor in the Economics Department at the University of North Carolina, Anusha Chari.
Panagariya said the research papers that will come out of this collaboration in the next 8-12 months will coincide with India’s general elections slated for 2019 and would also contribute towards developing a reform agenda for the new government. Emphasising the reason behind the collaboration, Panagariya said currently there is not enough work in India or the US in research work on Indian economic policies and the initiative hopes to bring good research-based analyses in this area to the general audience.
“India is a large country and many different issues need to be researched. We need more people writing more directly on policy issues. The academics tend to write for other academics normally. This is an effort to get them to write more widely for the policy audience and to be read more widely rather than just narrowly by another dozen academic economists,” he said.
Panagariya said the research papers will be targeted for a wider policy audience including government, media, civil society, policy analysts and students. Apart from bringing research papers, the initiative will include releasing book volumes devoted to specific policy areas and policy writing through blogs and op-eds.
There are also plans to host a conference in about a year where the research papers will be presented and that will bring together policy makers from India, industry representatives as well as investors to have in-depth discussions on select issues. The Deepak and Neera Raj Centre in The School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University provides research and expertise necessary to inform policy decisions, deliver increased prosperity, and define India’s future role in the global economy.