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Anglo-American hand

The Niti Ayog was set up in January 2015. A month later a government document stated that the people of India lived in a global village with modern transport, communications, media along with networked international markets and institutions. Today however, the agency’s new Vice-Chairman, Rajiv Kumar has a completely different perspective. He has attacked Anglo-American influence on Indian policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to him, policy making establishments which came up in the last few decades are losing influence. The Niti Ayog document of 2015 highlighted the imperatives of globalization. The new Vice Chairman has strongly criticized the idea bringing in foreign experts. His attitude betrays an unhealthy insularity. He also decries the influence of multinational institutions like the IMF and the World Bank. He has referred to the special experience of China which listens to these institutions but has formulated its policies independently.

There is no doubt that Indian economic policy should be based on ground realities in the country. But it will be sheer folly to turn a blind eye on foreign expertise and to be immune from the influence of foreign academic wisdom. Kumar’s attitude reveals a narrow-minded chauvinism which can only be counterproductive.

The Niti Ayog should benefit from the achievements of the last 25 years but also adapt policies to the changing demands of globalisation. GST, Make in India, Swachh Bharat, Sustainable Development Goals, Climate Change Targets- these go to India’s credit. But these are not totally insulated from foreign influence. The Niti Ayog’s Vision document was crafted on the right lines and should guide future action.

 

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