Governor Rajan inaugurates MDAE

On Monday, 27th July Governor Raghuram Rajan inaugurated the Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics (MDAE) at the World Trade Centre and also welcomed the incoming batch of 2016. Seated in the audience were supporters & well wishers from the worlds of Academia & Industry along with the families of the incoming students.

Prior to the start of the event, the students of the Academy had an intimate gathering with the Governor who personally welcomed and greeted each one. The event started with the Governor lighting the inaugural lamp along with our Chairman – Lord Meghnad Desai, Vice-Chairperson – Dr. Indu Shahani & the Vice-Chairman of World Trade Centre – Captain Somesh Batra. Governor Rajan commended the incoming students for taking an entrepreneurial risk in joining the school as this school will form the basis of their careers.

He said that “The first batches are the start of great ventures and we at the RBI will do all we can in our power to support MDAE. I wish this institution goes to greater glory in the years to come.” An excerpt from his opening remarks “I can think of nothing more noble than setting up a school, not in honor of a politician or business personality but in honor of a great academic. In this country there is a tremendous need for capable economists. I see that every day in my work. There is a need in Delhi, in Mumbai and all over the country.

We have lost a generation of economists. Over time, the number of people going for higher degrees in economics has dwindled as other opportunities in the economy opened up. The kind of economics we need is based on a good understanding of the fundamentals of economics, such as price theory and general equilibrium, which is the hardest concept to understand. A lot of policy-making is done without an understanding of general equilibrium which is often the key contribution that an economist can make to the dialog. The kind of economics we need is based on rigorous fundamentals – blood, sweat, tears, and toil. In economics, like elsewhere, the questions rarely change.

The answers keep changing. What is important is that a school continuously updates itself on the answers.  It means taking from theory or empirical work and applying it to day to day life, which also means using data to understand the answers we need. Some element of the course should focus on research. The role of research is to foster curiosity. It is that curiosity that transmits to students.”

Lord Desai in his speech highlighted that he had lent his name to this institute as a warning as the course was rigorous with no concessions as Economics is a tough subject. He also hoped that at the end of it, students would accomplish the sense of the power of economics Dr. Shahani then gave the final note of the event by saying “Today is a great day for us as we are witnessing a culmination of industry partnership and academia”. She also highlighted that the employability rate in Mumbai University was as low as 14.6% and how the MDAE program was an example of education being reformed and industry ready.

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