international Conference on Alternative Economic Paradigm at Pune
“The status of national economies needs new indices to be evaluated as mere growth of GDP does not provide a viable yardstick. Today we need to factor the human development index, freedom index and such other indices to measure the performance of economy and achievement of the objective of progress, peace and security. If India desires to achieve progress, these factors cannot be overlooked. We cannot afford to ignore this agenda in our Five-Year development plans”. This observation was made by Prof. Indumathi, vice chancellor of Davangere University at the valedictory session of a conference on “Worldview of Development : Challenges and Alternative Paradigm” organized by the Department of Economics of Poona College of Arts, Science and Commerce in association with Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) New Delhi, on March 9-11, 2012.
Dr. Indumathi said 80 per cent of the world’s resources were being utilized by 15 per cent of the people and the world had turned into a ‘Oligopolis’. She said we need to focus on issues of equity and justice and should end disparities if we intend to establish a just economic order.
Prof. Ausaf Ahmed, Special Assignment, Islamic Development, Jeddah in his inaugural address pointed that after the fall of the Soviet Union, the development scenario of the world has undergone transformation. He said even the capitalism has failed to measure up to the expectation as common man’s struggle for livelihood has become even more intense in the wake of usurpation and accumulation of economic resources in the hands of a few. He said, time had come to look for an alternative paradigm. He said we need to emphasise universal values like justice, fairness and rational approach in our development strategies.
Mr. Shukla, former Secretary, Government of India, emphasized that today people were searching for models of development which provide economic growth such that it obviates dependence upon the Western countries.
Dr. Manzoor Alam, Chairman, IOS, New Delhi, elaborated, that Islamic way of development is based on Falah i.e. “all people of earth should live in peace, happiness and prosperity.”
Dr. M. Galib Hussain, Emeritus Professor, Islamiah College, Vaniyambadi, delivered “a talk on the theme of “Tawhedic Development and Cultural intervention strategy.” Mr. Timothy Wallis from Australia advocated for inclusive growth. He said, as just physical growth of a human individual needs harmonious functioning of all organs, the economic growth of a nation requires development and progress of all sections making up for a community.
In the second technical session, Mr. Neeraj Jain, a social activist and environmentalist delivered a thought provoking speech on deepening ecological crisis and environment.
In the third technical session, Prof. Abdul Wahab, Chairman, Department of Economics, AMU, emphasized that roles of market and state were not competitive, but complementary. Unless government functions as a good regulator, the benefits of globalization cannot reach the masses.
Nearly fifty papers were presented by participants from across the country in eight technical sessions. The second panel discussion was on environment protection. It was chaired by Dr. Benjamin from Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. Dr. Arif Shaikh, Dr. Azharuddin and Jameel Ahmed participated in the discussion. All of them emphasized the need for protection of environment and suggested measures to achieve the goals.
Iranian social scientist and agricultural economist Dr. Mohammed Hasan Karim, suggested that developing countries should opt for local currencies for international trading to save on foreign exchange. He said use of dollar and Euros was leading to enrichment of the Western nations and impoverishment of the developing nations.
Dr. Nazeruddin, Principal Poona College, welcomed the guests. Dr. Shakeel Ahmed, the Vice-Principal and Head, Department of Economics, proposed vote of thanks and Dr. M.B. Mistry coordinated the conference.