I hate all labels she said

Neo-liberal is a term used for one you dislike Kerala economic advisor Gita Gopinath
news Economics Wednesday, October 05, 2016 - 20:30

 In an interview given to Asianet’s news editor MG Radhakrishnan on her maiden visit to Kerala, the state government’s economic advisor and full-time Harvard professor Dr. Gita Gopinath called herself a technocrat who prefers to approach issues solely from an economic perspective.

“Neo-liberal seems to be a term you guys use for someone whom you have taken a dislike to,” Gita remarked.  

She said that the controversy over her appointment surprised her.

In the course of the interview, Gita reiterated that the focus should be on poverty alleviation and societal development. Pooh-poohing the very concept of right and left wing economics, Gita said that these were things of the past, and that the need of the hour was practical economic policies that could be implemented on ground, rather than indulge in worthless theoretical discussions on the same.

 “Kerala has its own model of development with a definite vision in place, especially in the health and educational sectors. Its unemployment quotient is alarming though. It can also consider emulating foreign nations in healthcare to further boost the same. It ought to emulate all aspects conducive to its economic growth from successive models the world over,’ she said.

According to her, Kerala should focus on attracting investors and reducing the rich-poor divide. She also decried the deplorable state of affairs in the sphere of higher education in the state, and hoped for a step-by-step betterment of the same.

Speaking about her visit she said she had better clarity on which sectors to focus on immediately.

On the Kerala model of development, she said, “Kerala has a unique model and has put good focus on health and education. It is a welfare state and that has done good for the people of Kerala. But at the same time there has been deficit in certain areas like job creation. Going forward the issues to be addressed is how to maintain the pluses and create jobs.”

 “Being born a girl in India matters a lot and being born into a matriarchal society in Kerala makes all the difference. It gave me a sense of self-worth,” she said.

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