Episode 387: The Life and Times of the Indian Economy

Our greatest moral imperative is to solve the problem of poverty — and after over 75 years, we still have some distance to travel. Rajeswari Sengupta joins Amit Varma in episode 387 of The Seen and the Unseen for a deep dive into how we got here, where we went wrong, what we got right, and how we should look at the Indian economy going forward.

Also check out:
1. Rajeswari Sengupta’s homepage.
2. Demystifying GDP — Episode 130 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rajeswari Sengupta).
3. Twelve Dream Reforms — Episode 138 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan, Rajeswari Sengupta & Vivek Kaul).
4. Two-and-a-Half Bengalis Have an Economics Adda — Episode 274 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rajeswari Sengupta and Shrayana Bhattacharya).
5. Talks & Discussions on the Indian Economy featuring Rajeswari Sengupta.
6. Rajeswari Sengulta’s writings on the Indian economy.
7. Rajeswari Sengupta’s writing for Ideas for India.
8. Rajeswari Sengupta’s writing on the Leap Blog.
9. Rajeswari Sengupta’s pieces on GDP: 12345.
10. Rajeswari Sengupta’s pieces on fiscal policy: 123.
11. Rajeswari Sengupta’s pieces on the banking crisis: 12345.
12. Rajeswari Sengupta’s pieces on the financial sector: 1234567.
13. Rajeswari Sengupta’s pieces on Covid: 1234.
14. Getting the State out of Our Lives — Rajeswari Sengupta’s TEDx talk.
15. Why Freedom Matters — Episode 10 of Everything is Everything.
16. The Reformers — Episode 28 of Everything is Everything.
17. The Importance of the 1991 Reforms — Episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah).
18. The Life and Times of Montek Singh Ahluwalia — Episode 285 of The Seen and the Unseen.
19. The Forgotten Greatness of PV Narasimha Rao — Episode 283 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vinay Sitapati).
20. India’s Lost Decade — Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra).
21. The Life and Times of KP Krishnan — Episode 355 of The Seen and the Unseen.
22. Lant Pritchett Is on Team Prosperity — Episode 379 of The Seen and the Unseen.
23. Josh Felman Tries to Make Sense of the World — Episode 321 of The Seen and the Unseen.
24. Rohit Lamba Will Never Be Bezubaan — Episode 378 of The Seen and the Unseen.
25. Yugank Goyal Is out of the Box — Episode 370 of The Seen and the Unseen.
26. The State of Our Farmers — Ep 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gunvant Patil, in Hindi).
27. India’s Agriculture Crisis — Ep 140 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barun Mitra & Kumar Anand).
28. The Tragedy of Our Farm Bills — Episode 211 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah).
29. The Art and Science of Economic Policy — Episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vijay Kelkar & Ajay Shah).
30. Two Economic Crises (2008 & 2019) — Episode 135 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mohit Satynanand).
31. The Indian Economy in 2019 — Episode 153 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul).
32. Subhashish Bhadra on Our Dysfunctional State — Episode 333 of The Seen and the Unseen.
33. The Importance of Data Journalism — Episode 196 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rukmini S).
34. Rukmini Sees India’s Multitudes — Episode 261 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rukmini S).
35. Pramit Bhattacharya Believes in Just One Ism — Episode 256 of The Seen and the Unseen.
36. Understanding the State — Episode 25 of Everything is Everything.
37. When Should the State Act? — Episode 26 of Everything is Everything.
38. Public Choice Theory Explains SO MUCH — Episode 33 of Everything is Everything.
39. Our Population Is Our Greatest Asset — Episode 20 of Everything is Everything.
40. What’s Wrong With Indian Agriculture? — Episode 18 of Everything is Everything.
41. The Long Road to Change — Episode 36 of Everything is Everything.
42. India Needs Decentralization — Episode 47 of Everything is Everything.
43. Beware of These Five Fallacies! — Episode 45 of Everything is Everything.
44. Stay Away From Luxury Beliefs — Episode 46 of Everything is Everything.
45. Graduating to Globalisation — Episode 48 of Everything is Everything (on I18N).
46. Ask Me ANYTHING! — Episode 50 of Everything is Everything.
47. Four Papers That Changed the World — Episode 41 of Everything is Everything.
48. The Populist Playbook — Episode 42 of Everything is Everything.
49. The 1991 Project.
50. The quest for economic freedom in India — Shruti Rajagopalan.
51. What I, as a development economist, have been actively “for” — Lant Pritchett.
52. National Development Delivers: And How! And How? — Lant Pritchett.
53. Economic growth is enough and only economic growth is enough — Lant Pritchett with Addison Lewis.
54. Is India a Flailing State?: Detours on the Four Lane Highway to Modernization — Lant Pritchett.
55. Is Your Impact Evaluation Asking Questions That Matter? A Four Part Smell Test — Lant Pritchett.
56. The Perils of Partial Attribution: Let’s All Play for Team Development — Lant Pritchett.
57. Some episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on the state of the economy: 12345.
58. Accelerating India’s Development — Karthik Muralidharan.
59. Unshackling India — Ajay Chhibber and Salman Soz.
60. India Grows At Night — Gurcharan Das.
61. India’s Problem is Poverty, Not Inequality — Amit Varma.
62. Mohit Satyanand’s newsletter post on the informal sector.
63. Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s column on mission mode interventions.
64. The Hedonistic Treadmill.
65. 77% low-income households saw no income increase in the past 5 yrs — Vasudha Mukherjee.
66. Pandit’s Mind — The 1951 Time magazine cover story on Jawaharlal Nehru.
67. Economic Facts and Fallacies — Thomas Sowell.
68. An Autobiography — Jawaharlal Nehru.
69. The Double ‘Thank You’ Moment — John Stossel.
70. Profit = Philanthropy — Amit Varma.
71. India After Gandhi — Ramachandra Guha.
72. The China Dude Is in the House — Episode 231 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manoj Kewalramani).
73. The Dragon and the Elephant — Episode 181 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Hamsini Hariharan and Shibani Mehta).
74. Caste, Capitalism and Chandra Bhan Prasad — Episode 296 of The Seen and the Unseen.
75. The Collected Writings and Speeches of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.
76. Population Is Not a Problem, but Our Greatest Strength — Amit Varma.
77. How to assess the needs for aid? The answer: Don’t ask — William Easterly.
78. The White Man’s Burden — William Easterly.
79. The Elusive Quest for Growth — William Easterly.
80. The Tyranny of Experts — William Easterly.
81. Planners vs. Searchers in Foreign Aid — William Easterly.
82. Pandit’s Mind — The 1951 Time magazine cover story on Jawaharlal Nehru.
83. 75 Years of India’s Foreign Exchange Controls — Bhargavi Zaveri Shah.
84. Breaking the Mould: Reimagining India’s Economic Future — Raghuram Rajan and Rohit Lamba.
85. The History of the Planning Commission — Episode 306 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Nikhil Menon).
86. Adam Smith on The Man of System.
87. The Use of Knowledge in Society — Friedrich Hayek.
88. Price Controls Lead to Shortages and Harm the Poor — Amit Varma.
89. The Great Redistribution — Amit Varma.
90. Backstage: The Story behind India’s High Growth Years — Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
91. The Indian State Is the Greatest Enemy of the Indian Farmer — Amit Varma piece, which contains the Sharad Joshi shair.
92. India’s Massive Pensions Crisis — Episode 347 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah & Renuka Sane).
93. The Economic Legacies of Colonial Rule in India — Tirthankar Roy.
94. The Semiconductor Wars — Episode 358 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane & Abhiram Manchi).
95. BR Shenoy on Wikipedia and Indian Liberals.
96. BR Shenoy: Stature and Impact — Peter Bauer.
97. The Foreign Exchange Crisis and India’s Second Five Year Plan — VKRV Rao.
98. India’s Water Crisis — Episode 60 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vishwanath S aka Zenrainman).
99. The Delhi Smog — Episode 44 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul).
100. Fixing Indian Education — Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan).
101. Education in India — Episode 77 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Amit Chandra).
102. The Profit Motive in Education — Episode 9 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Parth Shah).
103. Our Unlucky Children (2008) — Amit Varma.
104. Where Has All the Education Gone? — Lant Pritchett.
105. Every Act of Government Is an Act of Violence — Amit Varma.
106. Narendra Modi takes a Great Leap Backwards — Amit Varma on DeMon & Mao killing sparrows.
107. The Emergency: A Personal History — Coomi Kapoor.
108. Coomi Kapoor Has the Inside Track — Episode 305 of The Seen and the Unseen.
109. Seven Stories That Should Be Films — Episode 23 of Everything in Everything, in which Amit talks about the Emergency.
110. Milton Friedman on the minimum wage.
111. The Commanding Heights — Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw.
112. Bootleggers and Baptists: The Education of a Regulatory Economist — Bruce Yandle.
113. Raees: An Empty Shell of a Gangster Film — Amit Varma.
114. Josh Felman on TwitterProject SyndicateJH Consulting and The Marginal Economist.
115. Obituaries of SV Raju by Niranjan Rajadhyaksha and Samanth Subramanian.
116. Breaking Out — Padma Desai.
117. Breaking Through — Isher Judge Ahluwalia.
118. India’s Far From Free Markets (2005) — Amit Varma in the Wall Street Journal.
119. Naushad Forbes Wants to Fix India — Episode 282 of The Seen and the Unseen.
120. The Struggle And The Promise — Naushad Forbes.
121. Half-Lion — Vinay Sitapati’s biography of PV Narasimha Rao.
122. A Game Theory Problem: Who Will Bell The Congress Cat? — Amit Varma.
123. India Transformed — Rakesh Mohan.
124. Highway to Success: The Impact of the Golden Quadrilateral — Ejaz Ghani, Arti Grover Goswami and William R Kerr.
125. The Cantillon Effect.
126. The Lost Decade — Puja Mehra.
127. Modi’s Domination – What We Often Overlook — Keshava Guha.
128. XKDR Forum.
129. Beware of the Useful Idiots — Amit Varma.
130. Some of Amit Varma’s pieces and episodes against Demonetisation: 12345678.
131. Episode of The Seen and the Unseen on GST: 123.
132. Miniature episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on PSBsNPAs and NBFCs.
133. The Bankable Wisdom of Harsh Vardhan — Episode 352 of The Seen and the Unseen.
134. Politics of Economic Growth in India, 1980-2005 — Atul Kohli.
135. The Economic Consequences of the Peace — John Maynard Keynes.
136. India’s GDP Mis-estimation: Likelihood, Magnitudes, Mechanisms, and Implications — Arvind Subramanian.
137. What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been — Episode 188 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Arvind Subramanian).
138. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on Covid-19: 1234567891011121314.
139. A Venture Capitalist Looks at the World — Episode 213 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Sajith Pai).
140. The Indus Valley Playbook — Sajith Pai.
141. India’s Trade Policy Is Working Great — for Vietnam — Andy Mukherjee.
142. A Trade Deficit With a Babysitter — Tim Harford.
143. The City & the City — China Miéville.
144. A Decade of Credit Collapse in India — Harsh Vardhan.
145. The Low Productivity Trap of Collateralised Lending for MSMEs — Harsh Vardhan.
146. Economic Learnings of India for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Bihar — Episode 345 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mohit Satyanand and Kumar Anand).
147. They Stole a Bridge. They Stole a Pond — Amit Varma.
148. Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister — Jonathan Lynn and Antony Jay.
149. The Right to Property — Episode 26 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
150. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on agriculture: 12345678.
151. Some of Amit Varma’s pieces on agriculture: 123.
152. The Crisis in Indian Agriculture — Brainstorm on Pragati.
153. Where are the Markets? — Kumar Anand.
154. Empower Women Farmers — Mrinal Pande.
155. The Mystery of Capital — Hernando De Soto.
156. India Unbound — Gurcharan Das.
157. In Service of the Republic — Vijay Kelkar & Ajay Shah.
158. We, The Citizens: Strengthening the Indian Republic — Khyati Pathak, Anupam Manur and Pranay Kotasthane.
159. Making Policy Fun with Khyati Pathak and Friends — Episode 374 of The Seen and the Unseen.
160. Seeing Like a State — James C Scott.
161. Free To Choose — Milton Friedman and Rose Friedman.
162. Classical Liberalism- A Primer — Eamonn Butler.
163. Friedrich Hayek: The ideas and influence of the libertarian economist — Eamonn Butler.
164. Milton Friedman: A concise guide to the ideas and influence of the free-market economist — Eamonn Butler.
165. Public Choice – A Primer — Eamonn Butler.
166. Adam Smith – A Primer: Eamonn Butler.
167. The Clash of Economic Ideas — Lawrence H White.
168. Just a Mercenary?: Notes from My Life and Career — D Subbarao.
169. Who Moved My Interest Rate? — D Subbarao.
170. Advice & Dissent: My Life in Public Service — YV Reddy.
171. A Business History of India — Tirthankar Roy.
172. Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath — Ben Bernanke.
173. Whole Numbers And Half Truths — Rukmini S.
174. Fragile by Design — Charles Calomiris and Stephen Haber.
175. Universal Man: The Seven Lives of John Maynard Keynes — Richard Davenport-Hines.
176. A Life in Our Times — John Kenneth Galbraith.
177. The Age of Uncertainty — John Kenneth Galbraith.
178. Fixing the Knowledge Society — Episode 24 of Everything is Everything.

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Episode art: ‘It’s Complicated’ by Simahina.