Dr. Raghuram Rajan is perhaps the most well-known contemporary banker-economist of Indian origin. He began his academic journey, like many Indian luminaries, in the field of economics and other social and hard sciences, at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Born in Bhopal, Dr. Rajan graduated from IIT Delhi in 1985 with a B.Tech. in mechanical engineering. Immediately after graduating college, he entered the MBA program at Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, graduating in 1987.
While a first glance may indicate a noticeable amount of dependence in this relationship between India and the Bank, it truly is about “interdependence”. India has drawn funds from the Bank and used them to make strides, but the World Bank has also relied on India as a stable lending destination with a record of efficient uses of borrowed money. As N.K. Singh put it in 2005, India needs the World Bank, but the Bank needs India as much[i].
The economic quarter ending in June recorded a shrinkage of about 24% in the Indian economy. A detailed look into the same report reveals more ominous figures. An estimated 140 million jobs were lost and consumption dropped by close to 27 percent. About half of all investment expenditures disappeared as well. Despite the bleak scenario that these data convey, the economic tool of privatization still keeps hopes alive, providing a last resort of sorts for Government of India. Direct intervention has failed, and now it is time to turn to the invisible hand.
According to economists from Mumbai University, half of the Indian population now belongs to the middle class by income. This classification is dependent on daily household expenditures, which need to be between $2 and $10 for a family to be categorized as a middle-class household. This denotes a positive trend since 1991 when only about 1 percent of the Indian population belonged to the economic middle class. As far as progress in the field of environmental conservation is concerned, this trend is good news. With an increased rate of poverty alleviation and the expansion of the middle class, comes a higher level of environmental consciousness. Policymaking needs to be aimed at the kind of economic strengthening that allows our population to desire a reversal of the damage to our environment.