Yesterday, I attended a book talk by Professor Kaushik Basu. He served as the Chief Economic Advisor of the Government of India from 2009-2012 and is currently the Senior Vice President and Chief Economic Advisor of the World Bank. He was back at Cornell to talk about his new book “An Economist in the Real World: The Art of Policymaking in India”, in which he discusses the complexity of applying economic models to the real world, along with giving us a sense of the culture and personalities at North Block in Delhi.
I’m not an economics major; I haven’t even taken any economics classes. But Professor Basu presented the economics problems he tackled in a fairly accessible way and shared several anecdotes. He acknowledged some of the problems that exist in Indian bureaucracy, but he also imparted a great sense of hope. He shared an anecdote which implied that despite all, there was scope for discussing new ideas which stir conversation and perhaps even controversy.
I’m glad I was able to attend the talk. But I always find it strange that I’ve had more opportunity to think/learn about India analytically (both its current affairs and its history) here at Cornell than at home.