NCAER’s 15th India Policy Forum was held in New Delhi on July 10-11, 2018. The conference brought together a distinguished gathering of researchers, policymakers, politicians, industry participants and the media. The Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu addressed the opening session of the two-day conference.
Dr Shekhar Shah, NCAER’s Director-General, welcoming Shri Prabhu, said: “This is the 15th India Policy Forum. Over the years we have addressed some of the most topical challenges facing the Indian economy. This year’s IPF is a good example, covering the range of macroeconomic and microeconomic issues that India faces. We are discussing India’s growth experience but also the issue of women in the labour force. What is unique about the IPF is that it is a place where research and policymaking meet, with each side benefitting from the discussions that happen. The Commerce Minister’s presence is testimony to the importance of such a forum for meeting the economic policy challenges that India faces.”
Shri Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, thanked the IPF delegates for their sustained contribution to Indian economic policymaking. He said, “I have to make policy as well as implement it. But policymaking shouldn’t be the sole domain of government. We should try to get as much input as possible from all stakeholders, and particularly from organizations like NCAER where experts can think about issues in a dispassionate manner, and therefore offer the appropriate policy advice. Policies if not framed rightly, even if we implement them in toto, will obviously give us disastrous results. So the first and most fundamental issue is how to frame policy, and I think we in the government are always looking for ideas so that we frame the right policies around those ideas.” Click here to view the video.
The aim of the India Policy Forum is to promote robust, original economic policy and empirical research on India. Five papers, representing a unique combination of intense scholarship and policymaker engagement, were presented at the 2018 IPF. On day one, the first session dealt with Impact of Tax Breaks on Household Financial Saving, followed by a discussion on India’s Growth Story built around an analysis of 50 years of macroeconomic data. The final session dealt with Quantifying India’s Climate Vulnerability. These three papers were followed by the IPF Policy Roundtable on “India’s Healthcare Reforms: Getting to Health For All,” involving a detailed discussion of the Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Program. On day two, the first session dealt with Women and Work in India: Descriptive Evidence and a Review of Potential Policies, which investigates the key facts of women’s participation in workforce, followed by the last session on What Drives India’s Exports and What Explains the Recent Slowdown? New Evidence and Policy implications. This was followed by the IPF Roundup discussions in a session titled, Policy Priorities for 2019-24: What are these IPF papers telling us?
In the evening of the 10th, the Annual IPF Lecture on “How Can India Avoid Losing its Race to Prosperity?” was delivered by Professor Avinash K. Dixit, Padma Vibhushan awardee and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. The Lecture was chaired by Chair by Dr Shantayanan Devarajan, Chief Economist, The World Bank.
The 15th India Policy Forum ended with a special 15th Anniversary event on Wednesday evening featuring a conversation with Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India, talking with NCAER Non-resident Senior Fellow and University of California, San Diego, Professor Karthik Muralidharan. Click here to view the video.
About the India Policy Forum: The NCAER India Policy Forum is organised annually in New Delhi and promotes rigorous, world-class, empirical economic research on India with commissioned papers, an annual summer conference leading to an international journal, and the Annual IPF Lecture. The IPF provides a unique combination of intense scholarship and policymaker engagement at its summer conference. As India’s policy challenges become ever more complex, besides original empirical research the IPF now also features expert review articles that define the best available, research-based, policy guidance on issues of topical importance. An international Advisory Panel and an international Research Panel guide the IPF, with many panel members joining the summer conference. The IPF’s current editors are Shekhar Shah (NCAER), Barry Bosworth (Brookings), and Karthik Muralidharan (UC, San Diego). The IPF enters its 15th year in 2018, and for its first decade was a partnership with the Brookings Institution in Washington DC.