Renowned economist Meghnad Desai on his book, academy and economics | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Renowned economist Meghnad Desai on his book, academy and economics

mumbai Updated: Mar 17, 2015 22:20 IST
Kanika Sharma
Kanika Sharma
Hindustan Times
Meghnad Desai


Meghnad Desai, renowned economist and life peer in Britain’s House of Lords, announced the launch of the Lord Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics, Mumbai, while speaking at the World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade, on Tuesday.

Desai also delivered a lecture as a preview of his upcoming book, Hubris: Why Economists Failed to Predict the Crisis and How to Avoid the Next One, which will be out in mid-April.

Desai said, “India’s growth decline had nothing to do with the world economy. It was a policy paralysis with the UPA government. The decline was a self-imposed punishment. If you remove that, India can have 8 to 8.5% growth very easily. It’s been so far so good with the Modi government.”

“Yet one needs to remember, policy-making in India has to be consensual. You have to take all parties into consideration, otherwise economic policy doesn’t work in India no matter what majority you have, because a lot of people are largely affected by it,” he said.

With a keen focus on training “economists of the future”, the Meghnad Desai Academy will have Desai as the chairperson and Indu Shahani, principal of HR College, Churchgate, and former sheriff of Mumbai, as the vice-chairperson.

“The academy will focus on the real-world implications of economics. We have to make India employable very fast,” Shahani said.

The academy will begin accepting admissions next month, and the first batch will be limited to 30 students. For details on eligibility and to register online visit

Aditya Birla group chief economist Ajit Ranade, IMF-Singapore Regional Training Institute deputy director Mangal Goswami, Tushar Poddar of Goldman Sachs and Niranjan Rajadhyaksha, executive editor of Mint, are members of the academic board.

Meghnad Desai, economist and life peer in Britain’s House of Lords, on his initiative to build a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Square, London, which was unveiled by British PM David Cameron, Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley and Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan on March 14:

"When it came to raising money for the Gandhi statue, my first idea was to go online and raise it through crowd funding. But we didn’t have enough of time as we had to do it by January 2015 [it was announced in July 2014]. So we were certain that it would have to be big money and we were lucky that we got a large sum of money, £250,000, from Infosys, [industrialists] Lakshmi Mittal and Rahul Bajaj and hotelier Vivek Chadha."