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The 5th C D Deshmukh Memorial Lecture 2017
January 27, 2017

Nehru Memorial Library Auditorium, Teen Murti, New Delhi


 Reflections on the Art and Science of Policymaking


Dr Vijay Kelkar, one of India’s most prominent economic policymakers and thinkers with over four decades of public service in and outside the government, delivered NCAER’s 5th C D Deshmukh Memorial Lecture at the Nehru Memorial Library Auditorium, Teen Murti Bhavan, in New Delhi, on January 27, 2017.  


The distinguished audience included eminent economists, civil servants, industry analysts, media and a large number of students. Dr Kelkar, who was recently elected President of the prestigious Indian Statistical Institute, and is Chairman of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and the India Development Foundation, spoke on his Reflections on the Art and Science of Policymaking. Dr Bimal Jalan, former President of NCAER’s Governing Body and former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, was the evening’s Guest of Honour. 


NCAER instituted the C D Deshmukh Memorial Lecture series in 2013 in memory of Sir Chintaman Dwarakanath Deshmukh, one of India’s most eminent economists and a founding father of NCAER in 1956. 


The 2017 Memorial Lecture by Dr Kelkar came at a time of heightened economic and political debate in the country, with the Union Budget 2017-18 scheduled to be presented to Parliament in five days’ time on February 1st, impending elections to five key state assemblies, the demonetisation initiative launched in early November, and events in the US, UK, Europe and the Middle East that foretell growing economic and political uncertainty in 2017 and a challenge to the post-war, global economic order. 


Against this backdrop, Kelkar drew on his intense experience and close involvement in some of India’s most significant economic reform initiatives, including as former Finance Secretary and Chairman of the 13th Finance Commission, to remind the packed audience at Teen Murti Bhavan that good economic outcomes relating to growth and efficiency come only from following a principled approach to economic policymaking.  Kelkar emphasised ten critical elements of what he called the science of policymaking, complementing this with his observations on the art of policymaking that balances economic, political and state capacity concerns.   


While introducing the speaker, Dr Shekhar Shah, NCAER’s Director-General, said,Vijay Kelkar is exactly the right person to deliver this C D Deshmukh Memorial Lecture. &