Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Breakfast-Bath Dash

Do I stop living when in college? Or is it that I'm too busy living?

No time to think.


Its either this or go stinky to class.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Questions that leave me stumped..

1) What's up?

2) What did you this summer?

Clearly, I need a life.

What I did: I read some, watched some, ate some, jogged and weight-lifted some, even drove some...and drummed, but a bit too little for even a 'some' qualification. I put my feet up. Embedded my behind into a rather phoons bean bag... Oh, and I 'finally' managed to make a french pancake without breaking it. (The trick lies in making the filling separately). Most importantly, I spent time with Ma and Baba. I often forget the joys of huddling round the TV to catch the 9 o' clock news...that's our window to the world. We like to keep it open.

What I didn't do: Engineer another financial crisis with complex derivatives and other strange financial instruments. Run around the country-side thinking of ways to effect change and improvement of the country (been there, done that...would probably like to do it a little while,perhaps). Write interesting papers (I outlined one in my head and laptop, on my own terms and not those dictated by a think tank's reigning ideology). Get coffee for some corporate honcho, and write tedious reports on construction finance and the like... (Why do I sound defensive?)

DISCLAIMER: The internships described in this post intentionally resemble those of a lot of my friends. I do not in the least wish to undermine their efforts, and do in fact laud them for having some clarity of purpose. Something I lack.


It's so much easier to read my friend's blogs and marvel at their work, rather than pen down something in my own. Check out for some insightful experiments with poetry and prose, and for brilliant photo-stories. Now their blogs are truly windows into their lives. My rather uneventful life, in comparison, could use some sprucing up (be careful what you wish for, says a tiny part of my movie-stuffed-memory). Yesterday was actually rather interesting..

It all began at 2 am where my coffee-stimulated-self could not get herself to sleep. I opened Karmel and Polasek to aid the process, and boy did it work while I held on to the leaves of its sickeningly yellow-green cover (If you're going to write a book on statistics, at least try deceiving the reader into thinking its interesting, with the cover! The only pictures it has are of histograms and bell curves). Anyhow, so once I did get drowsy, I did the whole light-switching-off, dump-the-book-on-the-drum-stool routine, not in that order...but it seemed that my eyelids were inversely correlated with the light switches. Well, that isn't entirely true..because then the solution lay in sleeping with the lights on..which too wasn't working. Do you ever marvel (or curse) at the ability of your mind to switch off while your body's still screaming for action..and vice versa? Lullabies must be invented for both parties...

So I gave up eventually..and decided to sort my cupboard. God alone knows how many clothes I've amassed over the years and hardly, if ever, worn. It's time someone who truly valued them had them. Well, that is the end of my terribly interesting story. this post should be an effective cure for your insomnia. :p

No no that isn't the end at all...later in the day..I was all pumped up to go on a date with my newly appropriated old camera (a film-run-canon T50) since my driving test got cancelled. Thought I'd head down to Fort Area and take a couple of peek-chars..possibly eat some Pizza by the Bay. ('eat at' I should say)..maybe I'd even find the much-anticipated mobile for my new room's window. Ah..but all of it went up in the air..when the rain came pouring down with a vengeance. My link to the beautiful paved stones of Kalaghoda has a tendency to go under water when the coast Gods unleash their wrath upon us suburb-ians. So I cursed the elements, while grudgingly giving into the beautiful calm that a hot cup of tea and a book can bring upon one on a rainy day.

Later, in the evening, Ma took me on another driving lesson. I really started enjoying myself...fifth gear on the Palm Beach expressway has the tendency to iron out one's frown and worry etched forehead. However, not all was I did the following 'bokami' in the span of the same evening- 1)leave the keys hanging on the door outside, while we got seat-belted and ready to roll (quite deservedly I was at the receiving end of a 'are you feeling stupid yet?'); 2) Almost hit a bike with a sudden leftward swerve just after positioning myself to turn right (Ma: 'But when I said we needed to park somewhere, I didn't mean right now!'); and the worst, 3) Worried by a bullying red bus heading in our direction at rapid pace, I steered leftwards (again) only to realize that I was separated from a parked car, literally, by a hair's breadth...we were close enough to lock in a passionate kiss...get my drift? Goodness...I do tend to lose my head when I'm behind the wheel...well..actually...I do tend to lose my head. period.

Home, we returned, after some gift hunting and bakery swooning...only to be informed that there had been three blasts in the city. Colaba, Zaveri Bazar and Dadar West had been hit during rush hour. Baba had fortuntely returned to Belapur by the time the madness hit...but, man did I retract all my ill-will towards the rain that morning! It reminded me of this story...was it by Nathaniel Hawthorne?..we read in our English class in school..something about chance..and how every second's decision can take one down a different road. It still gives me the heebie jeebies to think about it.

Me aside's insane that Bombay's been hit again. With every passing hour of last night, the home ministry kept revising the casualty figures upwards..the city will get over it. It always does. But it shouldn't. As in it should get up and get moving again, as is characteristic of the average Mumbai-kar who'd brave the flood to get to work...but we shouldn't adopt an attitude of resignation and inevitability towards terrorism. The helpless 'What can we do about the bomb blasts?' is not going to get us places.

Look at urban planning for instance. The terrorists have picked Zaveri Bazaar several times's a soft spot in terms of congestion, chaos and traffic...any novice could target the place and get away with it. The last time they thought of V.T...well of course they'll think of VT- have you seen it at rush hour? Maximum impact with minimal gunpowder and planning.. Our country is chock-a-block with people...I'm not going to get all Malthusian and look at it as purely an evil. We have to deal with the numbers in ways such that the value of human life is elevated and not undermined. The media has got it right this time- human life comes really cheap in our nation. Just this once, I wish the laws of economics (excess supply decreases price) didn't apply..

Friday, July 8, 2011

Listen in the dark, with quality headphones and the rain beating on your window

"How far should one accept the rules of the society in which one lives? To put it another way: at what point does conformity become corruption? Only by answering such questions does the conscience truly define itself." 
-Kenneth Tynan, critic and writer (1927-1980) 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Le Guard-ian of the World's Coffers

Finally a woman ruling the IMF!! Why is the distribution of economists so skewed in favour of males? I cannot conceive of a rational explanation. I believe Orrell had something to say about it in EconoMyths but I can't quite recall what it was just now.In absolute contradiction to global trends though, my department is dominated by females (9 out of 50 in my class are male!) How many of us will veer towards academics,though? The probability that any given student from my class who pursues econ, is female, is ofcourse higher...but statistical forecasts are known to have been terribly wrong in the past.Ah well...Time will tell.

Good Profile of George Akerlof from F&D

Monday, June 27, 2011


Finally words for feeling..

Rhea sent me the link to this site via Stumble Upon. Here are some..emotions that 'complex people feel', to quote Ishika...essentially, idiots like me who have no idea what they're feeling, for most part. Read some of my old and new posts- you'll know that I've been feeling precisely these things, in differing degrees, for ages.

1. Dysphoria (the currently dominant state of mind)

 Often used to describe depression in psychological disorders, dysphoria is general state of sadness that includes restlessness, lack of energy, anxiety, and vague irritation. It is the opposite of euphoria, and is different from typical sadness because it often includes a kind of jumpiness and some anger. You have probably experienced it when coming down from a stimulant like chocolate, coffee, or something stronger. Or you may have felt it in response to a distressing situation, extreme boredom, or depression.

2. Enthrallment (read 'Sunday morning' or 'What you Will')

Psychology professor W. Gerrod Parrott has broken down human emotions into subcategories, which themselves have their own subcategories. Most of the emotions he identifies, like joy and anger, are pretty recognizable. But one subset of joy, "enthrallment," you may not have heard of before. Unlike the perkier subcategories of joy like cheerfulness, zest, and relief, enthrallment is a state of intense rapture. It is not the same as love or lust. You might experience it when you see an incredible spectacle — a concert, a movie, a rocket taking off — that captures all your attention and elevates your mood to tremendous heights.

3. Normopathy ('Conformism is the new rebellion'-a reference you won't get without a long,protracted explanation. Don't take this particular emo by the letter while reading me) 

Psychiatric theorist Christopher Bollas invented the idea of normopathy to describe people who are so focused on blending in and conforming to social norms that it becomes a kind of mania. A person who is normotic is often unhealthily fixated on having no personality at all, and only doing exactly what is expected by society. Extreme normopathy is punctuated by breaks from the norm, where normotic person cracks under the pressure of conforming and becomes violent or does something very dangerous. Many people experience mild normopathy at different times in their lives, especially when trying to fit into a new social situation, or when trying to hide behaviors they believe other people would condemn.

4. Sublimation

If you've ever taken a class where you learned about Sigmund Freud's theories about sex, you probably have heard of sublimation. Freud believed that human emotions were sort of like a steam engine, and sexual desire was the steam. If you blocked the steam from coming out of one valve, pressure would build up and force it out of another. Sublimation is the process of redirecting your steamy desires from having naughty sex, to doing something socially productive like writing an article about psychology or fixing the lawnmower or developing a software program. If you've ever gotten your frustrations out by building something, or gotten a weirdly intense pleasure from creating an art project, you're sublimating. Other psychiatrists have refined the idea of sublimation, however. Following French theorist Jacques Lacan, they say that sublimation doesn't have to mean converting sexual desire into another activity like building house. It could just mean transferring sexual desire from one object to another — moving your affections from your boyfriend to your neighbor, for example.

5. Repressive desublimation (unfortunately this one's more interesting, than personal)

Political theorist Herbert Marcuse was a big fan of Freud and lived through the social upheavals of the 1960s. He wanted to explain how societies could go through periods of social liberation, like the countercultures and revolutions of the mid-twentieth century, and yet still remain under the (often strict) control of governments and corporations. How could the U.S. have gone through all those protests in the 60s but never actually overthrown the government? The answer, he decided, was a peculiar emotional state known as "repressive desublimation." Remember, Freud said sublimation is when you route your sexual energies into something non-sexual. But Marcuse lived during a time when people were very much routing their sexual energies into sex — it was the sexual liberation era, when free love reigned. People were desublimating. And yet they continued to be repressed by many other social strictures, coming from corporate life, the military, and the government. Marcuse suggested that desublimation can actually help to solidify repression. It acts as an escape valve for our desires so that we don't attempt to liberate ourselves from other social restrictions. A good example of repressive desublimation is the intense partying that takes place in college. Often, people in college do a lot of drinking, drugging and hooking up — while at the same time studying very hard and trying to get ready for jobs. Instead of questioning why we have to pay tons of money to engage in rote learning and get corporate jobs, we just obey the rules and have crazy drunken sex every weekend. Repressive desublimation!

6. Aporia (This has to do with one painful epiphany-and no I shan't tell-I'm sure you've had one yourself)

You know that feeling of crazy emptiness you get when you realize that something you believed isn't actually true? And then things feel even more weird when you realize that actually, the thing you believed might be true and might not — and you'll never really know? That's aporia. The term comes from ancient Greek, but is also beloved of post-structuralist theorists like Jacques Derrida and Gayatri Spivak. The reason modern theorists love the idea of aporia is that it helps to describe the feeling people have in a world of information overload, where you are often bombarded with contradictory messages that seem equally true.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sunday Morning

The veins in my head are threatening to pop. A consequence of unsound sleep patterns, but ofcourse-engineered only from my desire to watch every single video on youtube or something of that nature..

Come and open up your folding chair next to me
My feet are buried in the sand and there’s a breeze
There’s a shadow, you can’t see my eyes
And the sea is just a wetter version of the skies

I'm really annoyed with my driving instructor. Makes me wake up early every morn only to be a zillion nanoseconds late. And its not even a predicatble lag, such that adaptive expectations could come into play. Gna gna gna...

Don’t make frowns, you silly clown...

Ram called. The other Ram. It seemed like a godsend amidst my low patch wrt the drums. Maybe things will take a turn for the better on that front. It's crash boom time again, baby. Woot woot!!

Just come and open up your folding chair next to me
My feet are buried in the sand and there’s a breeze
There’s a shadow, you can’t see my eyes
And the waves are just a frothier version of the skies

It's interesting...funny one phone call and a good song can uplift my mood.

I’ve got a perfect body, though sometimes I forget
I’ve got a perfect body cause my eyelashes catch my sweat
Yes, they do, they do…

As for the above mentioned perfect body-its there somewhere, amidst layers of adipose ;) To the treadmills I now depart. Toodle Dee. Have a good holy day, all.


Friday, June 24, 2011

What you Will...

Hell it's impossible to keep to the 'must write everyday' resolution. I lack discipline, I do. Possible some imagination too. The past few days however, have most certainly been lacking in immunity on my part. The Rhine, it flows noisily (Rhine-Rhino-nose) rooommate once asked me if I was done moving furniture :P. Trust me, you want to stay away.But things have taken a turn towards healthy today...mind you, not 'halthy' (punjabi eshtyle) cause I'm working out again. God knows how I'll keep it up in college-one look at the 'flop master' and lethargy creeps into me bones again. Okay, maybe it isn't entirely her fault.

Regina Spektor is bloody good by the by...and refreshingly original at that. Will attach 'Ghost of a Corporate Future' with this post. The title does haunt me-I do find myself increasingly at sea about career paths as I grow older. In the fourth grade, for instance, it was definite that I was to be the President of the World Bank!! By the seventh, I was to be a robotic scientist manufacturing revolutions at NASA. 'Spirit' and 'Opportunity' was all I needed ;) And ofcourse I'd study at MIT. And 7 years down the line I still want to go to MIT-only the social sciences division,if you please. Well atleast the immediate progression from Stephen's is not entirely unclear-I should count my blessings,eh? (Regina Spektor link)
While I was shirking in the past few days I omitted to recount my trip to NCPA. Ma,Baba and I (and boy was Baba grouchy at the outset of the journey-"tickets are too expensive"/"train's too crowded" yada yada yada)...Lady luck was awfully kind to me that Sunday noon-no rain, and a functional harbour line-what more could one ask for in the Navi Mumbai monsoon! So..after the usual and somewhat eventful train ride (read: burqa clad lady picks a fight with typically marathi lady..and there were chappals and abuses to boot)..we reached the's beautiful, this time of year. So alive to the millions that come to soak in its splendor.

Danny Boyle's direction of Mary Shelly's 'Frankenstein' was screened live from the National Theatre in London at NCPA's Godrej Dance Theatre (it's a small but comfy audi). Boyle's return to theatre was looked forward to by most theatre-loving Londoners (or whatever they're called)...and boy was it worth the wait, anticipation, and queues at  2 am! (I got the tickets online :P) The production starred Johnny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch-the two actors switched roles every night. One day one was the creator, and the next-the created. I think thats a delightful idea for any actor to grasp the roles truly. We were lucky (although both versions are considered equally good by critics)-Cumberbatch was the creature at our show. I confess I know not much about the stage and acting..and so forth. But whatever it was that they pulled off that Sunday evening-bordered on perfection. There's no denying it. To give you a tiny glimpse- the beginning showed Frankenstein's monster's birth followed by it's learning processes. How it learnt to move every limb and sinew. How it learnt to stand, to eat speak..and later read thanks to his only friend-an old blind man. Now think of how one can possibly manage to convey all that..without about fifteen to twenty minutes, without, for a second, boring one's audience. It was brilliant, I tell you. You'll just have to take my word for it because it's beyond my linguistic/narrative skills to communicate even a fraction of what I saw and felt that day. Baba, who was quite the theatre-goer in his bachelor days, was astounded. Ma, equally so. They said that they'd never seen anything like it (Phew! Can you conceive of what would have come to pass had he disliked the production?!! It's not as bad as all that really, but, like Phoebe, I don't appreciate negative vibes). We followed this up with a walk down a rather crowded Marine Drive and RustomJi's ice-cream: it's essentially a cuboid of ice-cream sandwiched between two wafer should try it sometime. Heck, you should watch a broadcast of the play if you ever chance upon it! Boyle should stick to theatre. Really.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thinking about Thinking.

Sometimes I accidentally do the smarter thing (and at other rarer times, it isn't accidental)- I'm so glad I signed up for the new format of the GRE. Just the names of the sections 'Verbal Reasoning' as opposed to the older Verbal something is enough to indicate that I don't have to learn long lists of otherwise irrelevant vocab. This stuff is quite cool, in a sort of way. It requires critical thinking ('thinking about thinking')...and now I regret only concentrating on Mr.Cole's gigantic Homer Simpson pants pinned on the softboard, and the plate-full of Maltesers in his critical thinking classes at Millfield (brief exchange programme- I use the slightest opportunity to show off).

Checked out the neighbourhood gym today. Needless to state that the instructor took one look at me and figured out that I lead a most unhealthy lifestyle. And here I thought that Rohtas' samosas were awfully nutritious!

Finally attacked the book on dev econ. It's amazing how all later research points to instiutional reform for development. Amidst cries in national politics over the Lokpal Bill, 2G scams and such like-I'm coming to believe that specialzing in institutions/ instiutional economics may be a productive move to make. At any rate, I think I'll spruce up my institutions project for the M.Phil applications. This applications/scholarships business is already beginning to drive me nuts: just how am I going to make it through the entire year??

Tomorrow, I'm praying my driving lessons begin. Might enroll at the gym and attempt to make either paalak paneer or lemon cake (inclusive 'or'). Ooh lunar eclipse! I shall bid yea adieu for now to go check eet out, if the rain clouds permit. Oh and here's a link for a movie I watched over yesterday and today (long story, and no I don't mean the movie). It's good fun-an Amole Gupta production.

The Summer-whatever little there is of it.

Let not the title of this post fool you into believing that the length of the 'summer' commented on therein has anything to do with the weather-it's the duration of our break I'm cribbing about. A month and a half is just about all that second econ managed to scrape, given the stretched duration of the darned univs.

Anyhow, I've decided that I'm going to document the happenings of my unemployed life this break (for the sake of clarification, the decision to not intern was not entirely shaped by the one..or.two..or three rejection letters I received. Everything worthwhile requires time..or a postgrad!) So yes, where were we? Documentation. Now the purpose behind such a move has nothing whatsoever, pardon me dear reader, to do with you. It's purely out of selfish motives- it'll help me stay active. The knowledge that everyday must have something to say for itself should keep things interesting around here... or so one hopes. There's always the danger that the average post will run something on the lines of- brushed me teeth, attempted to count the pimples on my face but gave up midway, ate A lot while all the time miraculously hoping that pounds were being shed...and so on.

Do not be deceived into believing that 'interesting' shall be anything on the lines of conventional living it up. This is Navi Mumbai. And, more importantly, this is me. So there. We shall correspond again at the end of the day-electricity and internet connection,permitting. Cheerio for the mo.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Def Col.

The curtains, they do cover for
Enthusiasm, self worth: the lack thereof.
Call it what you will..
But oh they do sway..
Meatloaf belly-full..
Happy, illogically so,
Shirks the ton
In favor of litchi,
With vanilla glazed..
In sloth we do persevere,

Sunday, April 24, 2011


The stars have not dealt me the worst they could do:
My pleasures are plenty, my troubles are two.
But oh, my two troubles they reave me of rest,
The brains in my head and the heart in my breast.

Oh grant me the ease that is granted so free,
The birthright of multitudes, give it to me,
That relish their victuals and rest on their bed
With flint in their bosom and guts in their head.
A E Housman                                

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The same

I like hearing my voice in my head. And its ever so much louder when I write...or walk...or sit on the ledge of my balcony in residence. 

I'm glad that I have a voice. (King's Speech reference...I love that line).

I was convinced, at the time that the album came out, that Viva la Vida was Coldplay's best. New sound=good sound=growth as artists and what not...upon re-discovering 'Don't Panic' recently though, I think I was mistaken. The violins and strings, though they were refreshing..was just not 'them'. Then again, maybe because I've heard many times, the new is now old...and the old new? We shall never really know,eh?

The Script, might I add, has a sound I quite 'dig'. 

Economic History is painfully boring.
I miss writing letters. I miss receiving letters.Okay modify that to e-mails...'snail mail' can be frustrating. And I do believe I'm drifting into an insulated planet where sitcoms, movies, projects, music and food are all that matter. It gets a little lonely on this planet sometimes...there's only so much that vicarious living can do for one.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Since this is my space to vent..

Why must you overthink?

And cause me thus to doublethinkspeak?

There's nothing to think about.

And there's nothing to say either.

(here, rather characteristically, my train of thought got interrupted)

I have the attention span of a puppy.

If I needed someone-Beatles

If I needed someone to love

You're the one that I'd be thinking of

If I needed someone

If I had some more time to spend

Then I guess I'd be with you my friend

If I needed someone

Had you come some other day

Then it might not have been like this

But you see now I'm too much in love

Carve your number on my wall

And maybe you will get a call from me

If I needed someone

Ah, ah, ah, ah

If I had some more time to spend

Then I guess I'd be with you my friend

If I needed someone

Had you come some other day

Then it might not have been like this

But you see now I'm too much in love

Carve your number on my wall

And maybe you will get a call from me

If I needed someone

Ah, ah

PS-This song,according to Jo,is perfect for moi. It isn't exactly relevant (thanks to a couple of lines which I'm sure you'll identify).
PPS-Then again...there are times when I would deny this claim altogether. We all have our moments.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I got butchered..and published :) Hindustan times, I still maintain, is a horrible paper

The 2011-12 Budget: The Calm before the Storm.

The Budget is the subject of much debate both before and after its presentation. The hysteria surrounding this event indicates that it has grown to be synonymous with the announcement of major governmental policy. This of course is only to be expected twenty years down the line from the historic budget speech that changed the course of India’s economic policy. Much has changed over these two decades, and yet it is interesting to note that the word ‘reform’ still dominates the landscape in the context of State policy.

An assessment of the expectations and deliverance of the Budget need necessarily consider the macroeconomic landscape before plunging into normative analysis. The economy has been recovering rapidly from the economic slowdown owing primarily to strong fundamentals in terms of savings and investment (with an incremental capital-output ratio of 4), a rebound in the agrarian sector, and continued momentum in manufacturing. (The slowdown in industry reflected by November’s IIP is seen as a temporary setback rather than a prediction of medium term trends). There has however been a slight setback in the services sector. The trade gap narrowed to $82.01 billion in April-December, 2010 with a substantial rise in both exports and imports.CSO figures point to 8.6% GDP growth in 2010-11. The economic survey pegs growth at 9% in 2011-12.
 ‘Enemy no.1’ in the past year has clearly been inflation, which has continued, for some time, to stubbornly remain in the double digits. This has been spearheaded by food-price inflation-owing primarily to demand-side factors. The volatile situation in the Middle East threatens to augment the problem further by fuelling a rise in crude oil prices. Second on the list of problems for the government has been that of reigning in fiscal deficits. Gross fiscal deficit now stands at 4.8 per cent of GDP, down from 6.3 per cent last year. The high realization of non-tax revenues from the 3G/BWA auctions has contributed significantly towards fiscal consolidation. Social sector spending has been stepped up significantly over the past 5 years, and it stood at 37% of plan outlay in 2010-11.
Given the aforementioned circumstances, what can one rationally expect of the budget? The first move of the government should be to tackle inflationary pressure- particularly that of food and primary articles, as it impacts the aam aadmi. Since the causal link lies in demand-side factors, the solution should be to focus on better supply-chain management. This calls for not only better infrastructure in terms of roads and highways, but also a revision of procurement and distribution policies. Food mismanagement has been one of the prime governance failures of the present administration.
Addressing the supply-side would also involve substantive reforms in the agrarian sector. The economic survey calls for a ‘second Green Revolution’ which is an interesting phrase to have used as it might indicate a pro-GM crops stance. While my personal views do not in fact concur with such a move, it is worth noting that the only crop that recorded a 40% growth in the past year was cotton, which in fact uses the BT variant of seeds. That aside however, the need of the hour for effective agrarian reform, that can in fact be addressed by the budget, is greater outlay for research and development. The proportion of GDP dedicated towards this end has in fact been embarrassingly low in the past. Unfortunately such a move is more likely to remain part of the budget wish list than of the list of expectations.
Fiscal consolidation has two aspects- increasing revenue receipts and decreasing unproductive expenditure. The former involves rationalization of the tax structure, a convergence towards GST (Goods and Services Tax) rates and broadening of tax base. An increase in indirect taxes should not be resorted to in the current inflationary scenario. It is hoped that the government policy will grant incentives in the form of tax holidays to encourage investment in infrastructure by private players in key projects including roads, power and telecom.( The greater efficiency of the PPP model will in all probability hasten implementation, unlike purely governmental projects. The challenge lies in capacity building in a qualitative and time bound manner-particularly in priority sectors.) At the same time there is a need to reduce the subsidy bill. This is a politically sensitive issue and is thus unlikely to be addressed. It is however true that the greater percentage of subsidies goes towards helping the middle class, as opposed to the truly needy (e.g. fertilizers). A distortion of market price moreover has contributed towards inefficiency and wasteful use of resources.
The second challenge lies in reducing expenditure. The government is attempting a phased withdrawal of fiscal stimulus in the interests of monetary tightening to combat inflation. The pressure on the FM is usually to cut unproductive expenditure such as salaries and defence expenditure. This is an unrealistic expectation in the face of inflation and border threats. A truly productive move on part of the government would be to cut funding from central govt. schemes that are not operational. Funding schemes of this nature only goes towards lining the pockets of middle-men, a move not exactly in consonance with the objective of inclusive growth.
I was mildly surprised to note that Climate Change was a section listed under the first chapter of the Economic Survey. Hopefully the budget will make provisions to incentivize greener initiatives and sustainable development. Importantly, there is a need to streamline the procedure of granting environmental clearances with infrastructure projects.
What the budget will and will not deliver remains to be seen. Although this document has come to embody the general skeleton of governmental policy it should not be viewed as the be all and end all of the coming year. A lot of developmental initiative rests upon the State governments. Given this, it is strange that there is hardly any hype about the presentation of the respective state budgets. Furthermore, although I have spoken of the need for investment in infrastructure and so on, there is also a need to concentrate on ‘reforms’ (yet again!) with respect to India’s several institutions. The Achilles’ heel of most developmental projects in India lies in the inability of institutions to effectively implement them. Although this is the subject of another article altogether, it would be nice if cognizance of this fact was taken in the definitive speech of Indian policy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The time lapse since my last post is indicative of the laziness that inhabits my bones. Fortunately the frequency of my blog posts is not representative of my mental processes (or the lack of). Before I proceed to ramble about what I have in mind for the coming months I will probably have to fill you in on some context, for without background we all swim in the vast expanse of ambiguity something and fall into some wacko boundless abyss and blah blah blah...

So the Jan tests are almost over. Its ruddy cold in Dilli...only as the exams tend to a close, the weather tends to bearable warm...A function of the brain you think? Well, either way I'm not complaining. Incidentally, I was thinking of writing an ode to my quilt/razai/wonderfully-warm-snuggly-cover. I do believe my co-'rezis' will echo my sentiments of gratitude..

So now that the egg-jams are over (well, i do have logic tomorrow) I can no longer procrastinate about my four projects-one for each paper i.e. econ hist, indian econ devt, macro and micro. While the task seems rather cumbersome, I'm pretty excited...its cool that there are no bounds on our project ideas for a change (phew!) Tentatively, I've got the following in mind:

EHI- the de-industrialization debate
IED- rural household incomes/the devt of institutions and their importance for econ growth in india
Micro- an application of the gale shapely algorithm to contract building (an original idea that I am both psyched and nervous about)
Macro- the euro

More on  this later...have tonnes of reading to do before I can get cracking on any of them. Hopefully, I'll be able to do justice to all of them (I'm such a nerd!)

Toodle dee for now. The next post shan't be too long in coming.