29 Mar 2019 17:36 IST

Education should teach us how to think: Raghuram Rajan

Ethics comes into play in any decision-making, economist and adviser to Krea University tells students

Former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, global thinker, educationist and one of the leading economists in the world, Raghuram Rajan interacted with high-school students in a webinar organised by Krea University. Hundreds of students registered from 30 cities across India and abroad and participated in the online interaction.

The conversation centred on ‘Economics for the 21st Century and the significance of new universities like Krea’. Rajan, Advisor, Krea University, expressed the need for an inter-disciplinary approach where economics integrates with history, politics, psychology, sociology and emerging fields like data-science, to better understand and solve real-world problems.

Education, he said, should become experiential in nature, enabling students to not just consume information, but also use it effectively in the real world. Such an approach, called ‘interwoven learning’ by Krea, interweaves various academic disciplines and breaks the silos between the classroom and the real world – thereby training students for an increasingly complex, diverse and dynamic world.

Students asked questions covering a wide range of topics such as automation, AI, inflation vs deflation, crypto currencies, monetary policy, trade policy, education policy and the need for new institutions like Krea.

When asked about ‘ethics in economic decision-making’, Rajan replied that ethics comes into play in any decision-making, as one can never assume there aren’t costs to a decision. “A cost-benefit analysis is not possible unless everybody is treated equally, and every decision will have to be analysed on how it interacts with philosophy, ethics and morality,” he said, adding that education at the undergraduate level should equip one with these considerations in decision-making.

Asked to what extent the current economics education and understanding will become obsolete, Rajan stressed that since both knowledge and practice are forever changing, a good education system should make students flexible.

Rajan expressed the hope that Krea University would serve as a catalyst in India’s education system, fostering debate and dialogue on critical issues.