Ignoring Ambedkar's economic thoughts unjust: Book
 Indian society has done great injustice to itself by ignoring the economic thoughts of national icon B.R. Ambedkar, a new book says.
 
"After all, his economic thoughts were not parochial," says scholar Narendra Jadhav in his latest book, "Ambedkar: An Economist Extraordinaire" (Konark).
 
"What Ambedkar always had in mind was in the best interest of the nation as a whole," the author says. "To brand him only as a leader of the downtrodden in India is an insult to this great patriot."
 
The 270-page book adds: "What is equally disheartening is depriving the Indian society of the benefit of his (Ambedkar's) economic thoughts, an act which is self-defeating for India as a nation."
 
Ambedkar's basic training was as an economist, Jadhav points out.
 
Ambedkar (1891-1956) was awarded the degrees of M.A. and PhD in economics by Columbia University in the US in 1915 and 1917 respectively.
 
The degree of doctor of science (DSc), which the London of School of Economics conferred on him in 1923, was also for research in economics.
 
Ambedkar's PhD dissertation, "The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India", is considered a seminal contribution to the field of public finance. It analysed the evolution of the centre-state financial relations in British India.
 
His DSc dissertation, "The Problem of the Rupee: Its Origin and Its Solution", is a magnum opus and seen as a major contribution to the field of monetary economics.
 
"Ambedkar's professional career bears a distinct imprint of an economist," the book says.
 
"Various memoranda and statements that he submitted to the government (under British rule as well as in independent India) are indicative of his deep insights into India's economic problems.
 
"His speeches are replete with stimulating economic thoughts. He is probably the first thinker to analyse economic dimensions of social maladies in India, such as the caste system and untouchability."
 
Jadhav says that not many economists are even aware that on the currency question, Ambedkar crossed swords with influential economic thinkers such as John Maynard Keynes.
 
The book says that Ambedkar -- who later embraced Buddhism -- presented a perceptive critique of Marxism in his essay, "Buddha or Karl Marx".
 
He also spelt out his views on the ideal strategy for India's economic development in his Memorandum, "States and Minorities" (1947).
 
The book says that the widespread ignorance regarding Ambedkar's contribution as an economist was "shocking and unfortunate".
 
Jadhav says that due honour had been given to the contributions of Dadabhai Nauroji and Mahadev Govind Ranade both as freedom fighters and as economists.
 
"But the same, unfortunately, has not happened in the case of Ambedkar although his contribution to economics was no less important, to say the least."
 
Jadhav, an economist, educationist and administrator, has been a member of the Planning Commission and chief economist of the Reserve Bank of India.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

YOGESH GAUTAM

2 years ago

very true.All govermernt irrespective of their political paries did unjustice with ambedakar

Ezhilarasan M

2 years ago

True

Belgium to power 170 trains with wind energy
Belgium has launched an ambitious project to power 170 trains by wind energy -- and the first seven of the planned 25 turbines entered service on Saturday, local media reported on Sunday.
 
Sudpresse newspaper group said turbines will be built along the main rail line from Leuven to Liege, generating enough power for every high-speed and local train using the line.
 
The number of trains to be covered by the wind energy project represents about five percent of the country's total rail traffic, Belgian railtrack operator Infrabel said.
 
Belgian broadcaster RTL reported that once all 25 turbines are operating, they are expected to produce 35,000 megawatt hours -- enough energy to power 10,000 homes. About two-thirds of the produced electricity is needed for the rail line and the surplus will be added to the domestic electricity supply grid.
 
Philippe Van Troeye, production director at Belgian energy firm Electrabel, told reporters on Saturday: "Wind energy, like solar power, is intermittent, but it will play a more and more important role in our energy provision in the future."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Education, health costs rose more than retail inflation: Assocham
Costs of education and health services have risen much higher than the retail, or consumer price indexed (CPI) inflation for September, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) said on Sunday.
 
"With severe shortages of education and health facilities in the public sector, the middle class has to depend on private sector schools, colleges and hospitals and their costs have become quite high," the industry chamber said in a statement here.
 
"While the annual increase in prices of these services may not show huge rise, the base price of such facilities is so high that it is becoming increasingly difficult for a large number of people in cities and small towns to afford them," said Assocham secretary general D.S.Rawat.
 
He also urged that public expenditure on health and education be raised significantly, both at the central and state levels.
 
The Assocham study showed that prices of goods and services consumed on a daily basis are growing beyond the comfort level for most Indians.
 
Other items of middle class consumption like meat, fish, milk and milk products, have also seen significant price increase of between 5 and 5.5 percent.
 
India's retail inflation for September increased to 4.41 percent, from 3.74 percent recorded for the previous month, on the back of higher food prices.
 
Overall food inflation was higher in September, at 3.88 percent compared to 2.2 percent in August.
 
Contributing most to food inflation in September were pulses, which were costlier by nearly 30 percent, followed by meat, fish, milk and milk products, the CPI rates for all of which were over 5 percent.
 
"While the RBI has in the last instance reduced the policy rate by 50 basis points, the average transmission is not above 30 bps despite so much of prodding by the government and the Reserve Bank of India," Assocham said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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