Friday, September 4, 2009

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Thoughts - Meeting of Minds



Two days....Two personalities and loads of food.(for thought)..
Yesterday we had an interactive session with Mr. Y V Reddy, the former governor of Reserve Bank of India. It was during his tenure that the global recession started showing signs of existence and he has been involved with some of the measures taken for keeping its effects external to India.
A close door small group meeting with such a learned personality could be a thought in mind for many which is a fact for me. He expressed his views on the ramifications of separating a Central Bank of a country from state control. An extent of autonomy is desired but complete separations has shown its ill-effects. He also spoke of the concept of decoupling of economies is more a matter of convenience rather than reality. He believes that no economy today is truly decoupled although the extent of interdependence may vary. Decoupling, in his words, is "contextually convenient but logically irrelevant. " He also spoke of need for the government to modify its working and policies to attract young intellectual minds towards state jobs. Importance of govt. sector, which he differentiates from the public sector, has not been truly realized and he maintains that private sector has stakes in the govt. sector. He also touched upon the difference between general and financial literacy and need to increase the financial literacy in India. In a lighter vein he said, that lack of knowledge about financial crisis means that we have been relieved of it upto some extent.
After the intellectually stimulating session, today we had a session with renowned journalist M. J. Akbar who was once the editor of Asian Age. The well read and immensely informed person that he is, he expressed his views on myriad of issues ranging from govt. interference in media to relationships with Pakistan and communal harmony in the country. He was critical about how the government uses media to get along the general support to some of the international policies. He subtly mentioned how he is also one of the victims of such govt. interventions. On Indo-Pak relations he said that temporary peace and betterment of relations was an imminent necessity to both the parties but a long term solution seems evasive at the moment. He also raised the prevelent biases in the country based on communal lines and expressed his concerns of their long lasting effects. He also spoke shortly about the demographic dividend that India enjoys and its benefits that need to be reaped.
In all these two talks opened up plethora of new dimensions of thinking of issues and provided completely novel perspectives to some of them. Looking forward to some more of such talks in coming days...

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