A file photo of David R. Malpass,  (Photo: Reuters)
A file photo of David R. Malpass, (Photo: Reuters)

World Bank’ David R. Malpass to address India’s top policy makers

  • The lecture is part of the series being hosted by India’s federal think tank Niti Aayog
  • The lectures will be attended by high ranking officials later this month

New Delhi: The World Bank Group’ president David R. Malpass is slated to be in New Delhi this month wherein he will give a lecture on the ‘role of financial sector in development’ to India’s top policy makers.

The lecture is part of the series being hosted by India’s federal think tank Niti Aayog. It is aimed at bringing global experts to India to interact with the country’s top policy makers as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government aims to grow Indian economy to $5 trillion by 2024.

The earlier lectures were given by likes of Cass R. Sunstein, the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard and co-author of Nudge with Nobel prize winner Richard Thaler. Cass R. Sunstein’ lecture was on nudge initiatives in August as India was emerging as the best example of the use of behavioural economics to achieve public good.

“With the vision of disseminating cutting-edge, innovative ideas in development policy to India, the Niti Lectures are attended by the Government’s top decision makers, including members of the Cabinet and senior officials across ministries and departments. Through the lectures, Niti Aayog has been bringing policy makers, academics, experts and administrators of global repute to India. The aim of the series is to enable learning, both at the Centre and States, from successful development practice world over," according to a government statement.

Some of the global leaders who have participated in the series include- Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Tharman Shanmugaratnam; Bill Gates, Co-Founder, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Michael Porter, the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School.

“These lectures are being attended by high ranking officials including those at the rank of of joint secretaries and above. David R. Malpass’ lecture is scheduled for 26 October," said a senior Indian government official requesting anonymity.

This comes in the backdrop of India’s factory output contracting for the first time in 26 months in August with both manufacturing and electricity output slipping into negative territory, signalling a further deepening of the broad based economic downturn. The performance—the worst in nearly seven years—comes as the Indian economy is battling a severe demand slowdown and a liquidity crunch, which together resulted in the GDP growth rate falling to a six-year low of 5% in the June quarter.

The World Bank on Sunday also pared down its growth forecast for India to 6% for FY20 from its April projection of 7.5%, citing that the country’s cyclical slowdown is broad-based and severe.

“The lecture series has been very well received. We saw quite an enthusiasm for previous lectures including the one by Cass R. Sunstein ," said a second Indian government official who also did not want to be named.

The Economic Survey tabled in Parliament in July placed a raft of new ideas in the arena of economic policymaking, including unorthodox proposals such as tapping behavioural economics. The NDA government is looking at how insights from behavioural economics can help design impactful public policy. It is of the view that how such insights can help the State steer people to make the right choices without depriving them of the choices they have, as people tend to stick with the default options among a set of choices.