ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Independent Federal Reserve Bank of India

Independent Federal Reserve Bank of India A Response to Comments ANAND CHANDAVARKAR Ihave the following reactions to the comments on my article (August 27,

Kashmiri Hindus

Lattars Kashmiri Hindus G autam Navlakha’s solemn exhortation to the government of India to “place the aspirations of the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir at the centre stage and uphold their dignity” (March 18) egregiously excludes the “aspirations” and “dignity” of Kashmiri pandits whose population...

India's Elasticity of Demand for Gold

This article is intended as an introduction to I G Patel's writings on India's gold problem, following the publication for the first time in this issue of his pioneering International Monetary Fund research paper, 'India's Elasticity of Demand for Gold', dated August 21, 1950. The introductory essay evaluates the paper as well as Patel's anonymous article, 'On Turning Gold into Base Metals', in Economic Weekly, July 1958 which analyses different modes of mobilising India's hoarded gold through incentives, compulsion and sustained propaganda. As a civil servant, Patel was also involved in various issues of gold policy. The article also underscores the contemporary relevance of Patel's pioneering research on gold, taking account of subsequent literature, and outlines a research programme, in consonance with the state of the art, to address the still unresolved problems of the analysis of gold demand and the mobilisation of gold for productive use.

Towards an Independent Federal Reserve Bank of India

The Reserve Bank of India alone has remained inexplicably immune to reform and the global trend of legal independence and modernisation of central banks. It has dwindled to a quasifiscal agency with a consequent loss of status and influence. India has political and fiscal federalism, but lacks monetary federalism. The case for an independent RBI derives from the doctrine of separation of powers both to close India's democratic deficit and to insulate monetary policy from politics. Independence implies accountability, transparency and the creation of an executive (not advisory) monetary policy committee; revamping its inflated and overly hierarchical organisation; and divestiture of supervisory and quasi-fiscal functions. The agenda calls for an early creation of a high-powered commission to help legislate a constitutionally independent federal RBI.

Remembering Inderbhai

ANAND CHANDAVARKAR My memories of I G Patel go well before he became a cult figure. He was Inderbhai to us all when he joined the University Hostel, Marine Lines, Bombay in mid-June 1944. He was introduced by his Baroda friend, R G Parikh:

Krishna Raj

In a nation of compulsive talkers, he had morphed listening into an art form. His silences were intensely communicative. Here was an editor who never editorialised.

Is the IMF a Lender of First or Last Resort?

The IMF may have acted as a crisis manager and crisis lender but it lacks the very basic attribute of a lender of last resort, which is the political and legal prerogative to create high-powered money without limit. Further, the entire spirit and intent of the Fund's policy on use of its general resources is to encourage early recourse to its financial facilities and to ensure that liquidity crises do not develop into solvency crises.

View from the Pavilion

From Reserve Bank to Finance Ministry and Beyond: Some Reminiscences by M Narasimham; UBSPDA, New Delhi, 2002; pp 189, Rs 395.

A Life in Political Economy

Glimpses of Indian Economic Policy: An Insider’s View by I G Patel; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2002; pp 205, Rs 395.

Did Hayek Deserve the Nobel Prize?

Friedrich Hayek (A Biography) by Alan Ebenstein; Palgrave for St Martin’s Press, New York, 2001; pp 403 (hardback), price not stated.

Forgotten Subalterns

Meenakshi Tyagarajan’s fascinating book review (November 24) states that the suggestion of the name, Mount Everest, came from Waugh, the successor to Sir George Everest as the Surveyor General of India, who “actually carried out the measurement” of the height of the peak. In fact, the basic...

The Dharma I Knew

What could be more fitting than the endowment in Dharma Kumar's name of an Oral History Archives and Research Centre at the Delhi School of Economics, to house oral archives based, among others, on structured interviews of significant protagonists in public life. Such a memorial would help perpetuate her memory and remove a glaring deficiency in the research base of India historiography which relies so heavily on documentary material.

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