The first ever National Students Symposium, contrived by the enthusiastic Economics Department of Lady Shri Ram College, witnessed a brilliant prelude to the main event, between 26th and 28th February. In sync with its promise of delivering a forum for dialogue, discussion, interpretation and application, enthralling and captivating series of guest talks were organized, which left all the listeners and participants rapt with fresh economic opinion.

While the guest lectures by Harsh Mander and Mihir Shah was under the ambit of Econvista and revolved around the theme, the symposium actually kickstarted with the guest lecture by Dr. Syeda Hameed and Econvista was officially declared open following the principal’s speech and the official teaser video of Econvista.

On the 26th, the first lecture was delivered by Mr. Harsh Mander, who’s played multiple social roles as a social activist, writer and an IAS officer. Across the span of his invigorating session, he emphasized the unending problems of Poverty plaguing the world today, and our unconscious acceptance of poverty as ‘inevitable’. He reiterated the blatant paradox of how "we see yet don't see" impoverishment. He suggested reconstruction of Economics, with respect to a more holistic approach toward the production, distribution and consumption of goods in society, as the way ahead.Finally, he pointed out the need for society to hold a more empathetic view of the unprivileged sections and recognize their true essence in terms of dignity, worth and potential. He stressed upon the equality of all human beings, irrespective of the social strata to which they belong, and addressed many queries put up by the vibrant audience, which left a deep impact on all faculty and students present for the event.

The dynamic and young member of the Planning Commission; Dr. Mihir Shah delivered an extensive and informative lecture on the 27th, around the topic, “Reforming India’s flagship programmes: Challenges and strategies.” He spoke of the Economic reforms of 1990 and remarked upon its exclusion of the majority. The promising flagship programmes such as MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Act), and the National Rural Health Missionwhich are essentially aimed at the empowerment of this mass; have also failed to reach out to the social fabric of the nation. He drew upon the relativity of the magnitude of these programmes to the formidable levels of corruption that the economy is witnessing today and alluded to his famous phrase “U without the Q syndrome” ; i.e.; Universalization without the aspect of Quality.Out of the “three F’s” – Functions, Funds and Functionaries, he remarked, “the third is yet to be achieved.”

On the 28th the department had the final guest lecture which officially marked the beginning of Econvista. DrSyeda Hameed was invited as the guest lecture and she spoke on “Economic Reforms and Millennium Development Goals”. She was welcomed warmly by the Principal of LSR, Dr. Meenakshi Gopinath who spoke about Dr. Hameed’s plethora of qualities that made her indispensable to Economics, and reflected upon her stellar academic works that showcased the pulse of India. Dr. Hameed discussed the importance of assigning defined roles to women in the field of economics; to make them feel involved and a part of a larger social metamorphosis.  She threw light upon the stark inequalities in gender and class prevalent in society; and the dire need for a shift from a GDP dominated growth, to a more holistic and inclusive kind that would aim to transcend all sections of society.

With a breakthrough start-up to the grand event, Econvista is looking towards becoming a phenomenon, to involve the bubbling, excited minds and sensitize them to the needs of Economics today.

ECONVISTA ! Get, Set, Go!

Shambhawi Tripathy

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