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Friday, 04 Dec, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM


By the 1920s the reigning intellectual force in colonial India was the British Fabian Society brand of socialism. In 1947, when India became independent, its leadership – with Jawaharlal Nehru at the helm – was committed to socialist central planning within a democratic framework. For the next four decades, India experienced central planning, with each decade witnessing greater state control over citizens. The only liberal movement during this time was a fringe of opposition, represented in academia by the economist B. R. Shenoy. Till our economic liberalism in 1991, we saw the License-Quota Raj regulate almost every aspect of the lives of Indian citizens.

In this session with Dr. Niranjan Rajadhyaksha, we revisit the Central Planning experiment and understand the key economic lessons it taught us and why we must ensure we do not repeat the failures of our past.


Dr. Niranjan Rajadhyaksha is the Research Director and Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute. His research interests include macroeconomics, political economy, and economic history. He was previously Executive Editor of Mint, a financial daily, where he continues to write the award-winning Cafe Economics column. Niranjan was awarded the Jefferson Fellowship by the East-West Center in Hawaii in 1998.

He received the Society of Publishers in Asia Awards for excellence in opinion writing two years in a row (2010 and 2011). He won the Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2012 and the B.R. Shenoy Award for Economics in 2017.

Niranjan is a member of the academic advisory board of the Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics and the board of trustees of the Centre for Civil Society. He was also a member of the advisory committee on the fifth volume of the official history of the Reserve Bank of India, written by Tirthankar Roy. 

Webinar/Workshop organized by: Centre for Civil Society

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