Prof Basu, former chief economic advisor to the government of India during the UPA government, and chief economist at the World Bank, was critical on the economic policies of the government. “Policy mistakes, such as demonetization, which hurt India’s growth, would not have occurred if there were policymakers who paid heed to this simple axiom: For every policy, you have to anticipate how ordinary individuals and bureaucrats will respond,” he said during his address.
A total of 593 students, 398 in the MBA course, 45 in the MBA-FABM, 137 in the PGPX course and 13 of the Fellow Program in Management (the doctoral programme of the IIMs), were awarded their degrees on Saturday at Louis Kahn Plaza on IIM-A’s heritage campus, which was full of graduating students and their families.
The degrees were conferred by Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the Aditya Birla Group and current chairman of the IIM-A’s board of governors. During his address, Birla gave the students leadership mantras, developing a courage quotient (CQ), obsessing over details, taking no shortcuts for success, retaining humility and never being deterred by failures.
Prof Basu later said that the Indian economy is showing unmistakable signs of slowing down over last few years. “The latest data on industrial growth, pertaining to January 2019, shows that India’s industry is barely growing, with the growth rate down to 1.7%. In 2017-18, India’s exports were a little less than what the country exported in 2013-14, which means virtually 0% growth in exports on average for 4 years, which has rarely happened in the past,” said Prof Basu.
He also said that India has been known globally for the quality and integrity of its statistical system. “We must take care not to damage this reputation,” said Prof Basu, referring to a recent letter signed by 108 leading economists. Illustrating the example of Argentina and the US, which were neck-and-neck economically at the beginning of 20th century, he said that the former fell prey to hypernationalism and xenophobia and failed to invest in higher education, research and openness to ideas.