MUMBAI: On April 5, hours after Raghuram Rajan delivers his most important policy of the year and undergoes a grilling from the media, the Reserve Bank of India governor — along with two deputy governors and economists — will switch sides and quiz a handful of college students on their version of the policy.
The first bi-monthly policy for FY17 will coincide with the final rounds of the ‘Reserve Bank of India Policy Challenge’. The RBI-sponsored event targets under-graduate and post-graduate students of any discipline in any of the reputed universities or institutes of excellence, including IITs and IIMs. The RBI has instituted the challenge as an annual three-tier competition that will test essay-writing, problem-solving and presentational skills of the participants in a competitive format.
The prize money is Rs 1 lakh for the winning team, Rs 50,000 for the runners-up and Rs 25,000 for the other finalists. But the real prize is that the finalists get an entry pass to the ivory tower of RBI’s headquarters and make their policy pitch to the most important people in the financial sector. Besides Rajan, the judging panel will include deputy governors S S Mundra and Urjit Patel. Also present will be HSBC India chief economist Pranjul Bhandari, JP Morgan India chief economist Sajjid Chinoy, professor Errol D’Souza and IGIDR professor of economics Ashima Goyal.
What makes the contest significant is the timing. Rajan’s policy on April 5 is expected to be a crucial one as it sets the tone for fiscal FY17 —the year in which Rajan’s three-year tenure comes to an end.
Besides bringing in reforms, Rajan has taken up the role of an economic evangelist, particularly among the youth. He has addressed more school-going children than any other governor, encouraging them to learn more about the macro economy.
That Rajan has chosen to hold the RBI Policy Challenge on the real policy’s date indicates the importance he places on increasing awareness among the youth. The governor is the busiest on the policy day, which involves back-to-back meetings with bankers, the press and analysts, besides keeping track of how markets respond to the announced measures.
Credits Times of India