Gurgaon, 29th January 2024: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar has hosted the 27th annual edition of the Indian Political Economy Association (IPEA) Conference, themed “Geopolitics, Energy, Finance, and Democracy” on 27 and 28 January 2024. Marking a historic first for the institute, the event, organized by the School of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Management, covered diverse topics such as environmental issues, global socio-political inequalities, and solutions for addressing disparities. The conference facilitated discussions on international macroeconomics, finance, political economics of elections, governance, health policies, global economic footprint, and more. The conference deliberations focused on future research prospects and proposed effective policy measures that address the problems of inclusive growth, health and education issues and governance topics in the Indian context.
At the outset, Dr. Sitakanta Panda, Convenor of the Conference and Assistant Professor of Economics, IIT Bhubaneswar delivered the welcome address. Prof. Balwinder Singh Tiwana, IPEA Signatory, spoke about the purpose, the history of the organization, and the future prospects of IPEA. He underscored its inclusive and interdisciplinary character in economic research by placing emphasis on the organization’s democratic and non-hierarchical structure. Addressing the participants, Prof. Shreepad Karmalkar, Director, IIT Bhubaneswar, discussed his experiences with economics as a subject in comparison to politics and philosophy. He demonstrated how, in debates about society, the ordinary individual is more at ease discussing politics and philosophy than economics, despite the fact that economics plays just as much, if not more, of a role in bringing about societal reform. Therefore, it is necessary to educate the average educated people about the meaning and use of fundamental economic indices, such as GDP, FDI, stock index, etc. while discussing societal conditions. According to him, this is the duty of academics and economics-related organizations. Chief Guest of the inaugural session, Dr. Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Advisor, SBI Group, highlighted the future perspectives of finance and development in India. He focused on the Four I’s: innovation, inclusivity, investment, and infrastructure. He delved into the fusion of applied learning and theoretical learning in policymaking. The concluding remarks were delivered by Dr. Dukhabandhu Sahoo, Head of the School of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Management.
The two-day conference had many parallel technical sessions. Two Keynote Lectures were delivered by the renowned economists Prof. Katharina Michaelowa of the University of Zurich and Prof. C.P. Chandrasekhar of UMass Amherst. The conference also witnessed special panel discussions by some distinguished economists, one on the state of the Indian economy and the other on the place of India in the current world order. The valedictory session of the conference was graced by Prof. R. Vijay and Prof. Amarjit Singh Sidhu. More than 100 delegates, including Professors and research scholars, participated in the Conference from India and abroad.
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