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TCD, IGC team up for ideas exchange, economic research

Platform aims to promote growth through debate, insights

July 23, 2019 01:19 am | Updated 07:49 am IST - Mumbai

The Tata Centre for Development (TCD) at the University of Chicago and the International Growth Centre (IGC) at the London School of Economics & Political Science have announced a collaboration through their economics and policy portal ‘Ideas for India’ (I4I) to promote growth in India through economic ideas.

“The ideologically-neutral portal is a platform for economists, other social scientists, and development practitioners to disseminate compelling research findings and share insights on effective growth policies. By encouraging evidence-based public debate, I4I aims to make insights accessible to policy stakeholders and inform policy conversations,” TCD and IGC said in a joint statement.

This portal will facilitate critical collaborations between researchers and policymakers, said Michael Greenstone, TCD’s faculty director, the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago and Research Programme Director for the IGC's energy research programme, in a statement.

“Both the TCD and the IGC share the belief that evidence-based policymaking is the key to rapidly advancing living standards. This requires a virtuous circle of idea development, rigorous testing, robust communication and scale-up,” he said.

Dr. Pronab Sen, Country Director for the India Programme, IGC, said I4I was started as a platform for dissemination of original research on India’s economic issues, generated by IGC and its network of professional economists “for a non-technical audience.” Over the years, he said, “it has spread its wings to include a much wider set of contributions over a more diverse set of issues.”

Today, it has established itself as one of the foremost portals for practically all issues relating to the Indian economy. However, at its heart lies a focus on research-based expositions, he said. “The collaboration with TCD will no doubt lead to a significant strengthening of this focus through the involvement of the networks of TCD and the University of Chicago.”

As a part of this collaboration, TCD and IGC will communicate their research in ways that drive policy impact and make a larger audience familiar with work in development economics and social development, the statement said.

Both entities will jointly work towards encouraging collaboration between researchers and global, national, and local decision-makers to determine the obstacles that need to be confronted across several areas, including education, energy, environment, labour economics, public finance, water and sanitation, and urban development.

“Unlike most areas of academic research, economics has the unique distinction that everyone wants to know what answers experts are proposing to the problems of everyday life,” said Ashok Kotwal, Editor-in-Chief, I4I.

“The promise of a sensible evidence-based policy regime lies in an informed electorate; translating and explaining the most pertinent research findings on the issues of Indian development is the mission that I4I has taken upon itself,” he said.

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