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

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A Refreshingly New Perspective

Economics: A Primer for India by G Omkarnath (Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan), 2012; pp xix +271, Rs 325.

This is an earnest new principles level textbook on economics which is supposed to be a primer for Indian students at the undergraduate level. Economics is a major subject of study at the undergraduate level across the country. If the cut-off aggregate percentage of marks in CBSE examinations is any indication to go by, economics possibly attracts the very best students in all the major universities of the country. In some of the premier colleges of Delhi University, the aggregate cut-off percentage for students’ school leaving examinations is upwards of 95%.

If the best students are getting attracted to study economics rather than almost any other competing liberal arts subject, it is especially imperative that the most appropriate textbooks be chosen to present the foundations of this subject to beginners. For several decades now the staple textbooks for Economics (Honours) students used to be the classic text Economics authored by Paul Samuelson, which first appeared in 1948. This is possibly the most influential principles level textbook ever written in Economics, fittingly, by wide consent, the greatest post-world war master who dominated the subject all the way till his death in 2009 at the age of 94. The book has had 19 different editions, with the latter ones being coauthored with William Nordhaus. It has sold more than four million copies and has been translated into 41 languages.

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