30 Jul 2020 19:28 IST

Key policy effort should aim to provide safety net: IEG Director

Ajit Mishra addressed students on Covid-19 policy efforts in ISBF’s virtual public lecture

Indian School of Business and Finance (ISBF), New Delhi, hosted its first public lecture of the academic session 2020-21 under its ‘Distinguished Public Lecture Series.’ The lecture was delivered by the economist and policymaker Dr Ajit Mishra on the topic ‘Covid-19 and its Fallout: Lessons for Public Policy.’

Mishra is the Director of Institute of Economic Growth (IEG), an autonomous body under the Government of India, founded in 1952 by renowned economist, VKRV Rao, for advanced research on economic and social development.

The public lecture, delivered virtually owing to the pandemic, witnessed over 50 students participating in from schools, colleges and industry professions from across the country. Undergraduate and postgraduate students from institutions. such as, JNU, LSR, Symbiosis and Bhartiya Vidyapeeth, also formed a part of the audience.

During his session, Mishra offered an insight into the policymaking process and the on-ground implications of such policies during the pandemic. He emphasised the fact that in the current uncertain times, the task of forming policies is certainly challenging. He went on to share details on the welfare policies and their impact on the general population during the lockdown, mentioning that more than 76 per cent of households have benefitted from one or more welfare schemes promoted by the government.

Speaking on the economic stimulus package pushed by the government, Mishra agreed that there should have been more focus on sectors such as travel and hospitality that have been severely affected by the pandemic and the consequent lockdowns. Commenting on the key pointers to note while evaluating policies, he said that there are four questions to ask, namely, ‘Is it consistent with the overall thinking? Were the targets and instruments clearly specified? Was the policy intervention active or passive? Is there enough flexibility for further changes?’

The lecture was followed by an intense question-answer session.

At the ISBF guest speakers and public lectures have always been an integral part of the learning journey, says the release. In the past, the institution hosted renowned speakers from a diverse set of backgrounds and sectors. Under the ‘Distinguished Public Lecture Series,’ ISBF has had many personalities from the fields of economics, management and finance such as Dr Ashok Lahiri, Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Former Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission; Dr Pronab Sen, Former (and first) Chief Statistician of India; Dr Abhijit Sen, Former Member of the Planning Commission; Nikhil Arora, Vice President and Managing Director, GoDaddy India, amongst others.