Online Conversation on Structural Transformation of India: Sectoral Shifts

On September 5th, distinguished agricultural economist and President, the International Association of Agricultural Economists, Dr. Uma Lele, gave a detailed presentation on ‘Structural Transformation of India: Sectoral Shifts’. Her presentation was followed by a conversation with Dr. Ajit Ranade, Trustee, PIC, who chaired the event.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Ranade, Vice-Chancellor, of Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, said that while many countries across the world were going through recession and high inflation, India’s economy was growing rapidly. However, there were concerns about food security in India.
In her presentation, Dr. Uma Lele explained India’s overall economic performance, compared to the rest of Asia, and shared her reflections on the complex challenges of poverty alleviation and sustainability. For India, challenges in the short run include the ill effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which were compounded by an already weak healthcare system. She explained that the full lockdown was hard on the poorest migrant workers, setting back structural transformation. Longer-term trends include enormous pressure on natural resources in the face of climate change. Dr. Lele argued that India needs the right mix of policies to build efficient value chains and give due importance to environmental sustainability. A reasonable solution could be to shift from pro-consumer to income-oriented policies and invest in improved human and physical infrastructure. Dr. Vishal Gaikwad moderated the discussion, which concluded with an engaging Q&A session.