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Symposium on India’s growth at Harvard attracts hundreds

Symposium on India’s growth at Harvard attracts hundreds
December 12
15:20 2019

GEETHA PATIL

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts: Hundreds of members from the community at large, including Harvard students, attended a symposium titled, ‘Next Phase of India’s Growth and Development’ organized by the India-Caucus at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) on December 6 at the Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Distinguished panel members and keynote speakers presented their views and research findings about the current state and the future of India in various fields. Special keynote speaker, Indian Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla, concluded the event by providing a brief description of the approaches and policies that are going to support India in realizing its bright future and dreams with utmost confidence.

Symposium organizers with Ambassador Harsh Vardhan Shringla

Symposium organizers with Ambassador Harsh Vardhan Shringla

The symposium started with a welcome session, in which Diksha Bijlani from the India Caucus HKS sais thatthe main objective was to understand the current state of India and the issues and the concerns that are coming in its development.

Dr Balram Singh, chairman of the Boston Center of Excellence for Health and Human Development, said that although India is moving in its right direction with many challenges on its plate this symposium would throw light on the factual issues in various fields and help policy makers to take the right approaches.

Special guest of this session, Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary for Business Development and International Trade, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, said that ties between India and Massachusetts were special and unique in many areas People here want to work with and support India in its development. Another keynote speaker, Indian Consul General in New York Sandeep Chakravorty, spoke on how India was emerging as a leading power in Asia and the world.

Panel members in the first session talked about the “Current state and future of health care in India”. Panelist. Vivek Sharma from the Decision Resources Group spoke on the topic, “Indian Health Care Landscapes: Complex Yet Promising”. He also touched upon the complexities of health care market and how the government policies and actions are helping the common man to receive the benefits of health care in spite of the gap between what to pay and what gets paid.

Prof Ravi Ramamurti of Northeastern University talked about “Healthcare Exemplars from India”. He gave examples of many hospitals in India that are providing best health care services at reasonable rates in the midst of challenges. He described diligently the lessons that need to be learned from these exemplar hospitals for the country’s future expansion of health care services.

Prof Satchit Siddharth Balsari of Harvard Medical School spoke on the topic, “Small Data: When Big is Not Better”. He talked about a blueprint for India’s digital health system and various regulatory standards for health data protection and right to portable data in a machine readable format.

Prof Fatema Basrai of Yale School of Public Health talked about “Sustainable Health Initiative (SHI): Building Healthcare Innovation in India” highlighting how SHI selects start-ups based on their potential to improve health care in Indian and the rest of the world.

Dr Ruha Shadab, Public Service Fellow, HKS, presented her observation and comments on the health care system in India and the US.  Kanchan Banerjee, Director of Indo-US Health Initiatives, moderated the session.

The second session after the lunch focused on “Indian economy today and tomorrow”. It started with a key note address by Prof Arvind Panagariya of Columbia University on “India’s growth slowdown: Diagnosis and prognosis”. He talked about the growth and the fall of GDP over the years and mentioned his analysis of the factors that are affecting its growth temporarily and many reforms that are going to help the GDP’s growth in future.

Panelists of the symposium

Panelists of the symposium

Prof Nidhiya Menon of Brandeis University spoke onthe topic, “Some areas for further attention in tomorrow’s India”. She drew the attention of the audiences towards air and water pollution, child and maternal health, and women’s participation amid lack of productive jobs and suggested some useful measures to consider to reach desired economic growth and development.

Prof Pravin Krishna of Johns Hopkins University talked on the topic, “Trade and structural transformation”. He emphasized on India’s present bilateral trade agreement trade and suggested that there is a need for reformation. Moderator Prof Devashish Mitra, Syracuse University did a wonderful job by summing up the session and handling interesting questions by the audience for the speakers.

The third session concentrated on “India and the World”. Prof. Manjari Chatterjee Miller of Boston University presented her observations on “India, China, and post-colonial worldviews.” Kunal Singh, of MIT spoke on “India’s evolving bilateral and security partnerships”. As a moderator, Dhruv Jaishankar from the Observer Research Foundation handled the session very skillfully along with a Q&A part and concluded the session with his brilliant remarks.

The concluding session started with remarks by special guest K.V. Kumar, president and CEO of Indian American International Chamber of Commerce (IAICC) who summarized the proceedings of the symposium and welcomed the Ambassador Shringla for his key note address.

Shringla described with great detail various government programs, policies, and action plans that are running with India’s growth and development. Kanchan Banerjee thanked the members of the audience for their active participation and the organizers, supporters, and volunteers for their services.

This symposium was supported by the Boston Center of Excellence for Health and Human Development Consulate General of India, New York  Observer Research Foundation ,Mass India Partnerships , Indian American International Chamber of Commerce, Global Indians for Bharat Vikas and Milan USA.

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