Kaushik Basu, former chief economic adviser to the government of India, has been added to the list of candidates who are being considered for the post of RBI governor after Raghuram Rajan’s term ends on September 4. Basu is currently the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of World Bank. However, the appointment may have political challenges, given the fact that Basu served as CEA during UPA government and has also studied under the guidance of nobel laureate Amartya Sen. Sen is widely known to have opposed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s policies, questioning how they benefit the common man. Kaushik Basu has received the Padma Bhushan, one of the three highest civilian honours of India.
But, who is Kaushik Basu? What’s his professional background and academic qualifications? We take a look: Basu is a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics (LSE). He is currently on leave from Cornell University, where he is Professor of Economics and the C. Marks Professor of International Studies. Apart from Cornell, Basu has also taught at Harvard, MIT, Princeton and the Delhi School of Economics. He has also received honorary doctorates from several institutes such as New York’s Fordham University and IIT Mumbai. Apart from this Basu is currently President-Elect of the International Economic Association. He will take over as President International Economic Association from 2017.
Basu’s term at the World Bank will end on July 31 this year. He is also known for the many books he has written on the subject of Economics. These include; Beyond the Invisible Hand: Groundwork for a New Economics, An Economist in the Real World: the Art of Policymaking in India.
Earlier this year, Basu had defended India’s GDP numbers, saying that they are very dependable and there is no “rigging” taking place with regards to data. This was in the backdrop of the fact that Modi government has come under criticism for the GDP growth numbers. Many have questioned the credibility of the new calculation methodology. He has also lauded the government for its progress in improving India’s ease of doing business ranking. “This improvement is a pat on the back, but also a reminder to buck up and carry on, because there is a great distance to go. It is not an easy task for India,” he had said last year in an interview.