Recent Media Responses: M G Warrier

Recent Media Responses: M G Warrier
History in stories
This refers to “Small bites of history” (Business Standard, Book Review, July 19) by Uttaran Das Gupta. Manu S Pillai, the young historian who does serious research in under-explored segments of Indian History has mastered the art of telling history through the medium of stories without mixing fiction. He proved this first in his voluminous debut The Ivory Throne. Now, after publishing  his third book “The Courtesan, The Mahatma and The Italian Brahmin” when he discloses his intention to take up writing as a profession, one feels lucky and wishes him success.
We are living in an era known for spread of misinformation, untruths and fake history mostly for personal or political gains. In this scenario, emergence of young talent willing to accept the challenges in research into an area like history which is not as lucrative as politics, science or economics should be welcomed and encouraged. All are not gifted with the command over language and an attitude supported by an inclination to pursue research into the past and above all the courage to reveal truth which cn be unpalatable to certain sections of the establishment.
M G Warrier, Mumbai
Financial sector regulation and supervision
Lest the brief article “Not home alone” by Anup Roy (Business Standard, July 17) may go unnoticed, this response. The article has raised relevant questions on the duality of control over financial institutions including banks and NBFCs at ground level and answered them giving the evolution of regulatory and supervisory system in the Indian financial sector over the years.
Though there is no use lamenting over the omissions and commissions of past commissions, for record’s sake, mention has to be made about the tangent route the FSLRC (Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission) took, trying to reinvent the central bank and truncate its functional limbs. The FSLRC failed to listen to professionals among its own members. The piece meal approach to policy formulation affecting financial sector during the second half of the current decade is attributable to the diversion opted by FSLRC from its real mandate.
Having said that, there is no denying the fact that GOI and RBI have been deftly building the Institutional System in the financial sector to meet the changing needs. Setting up of IDBI, NABARD, NHB, SIDBI and Exim Bank at the apex level and coming into being of SBI, public sector banks, Regional Rural Banks and small banks should be seen in this perspective. The missing link is an HR initiative to ensure professionalism in the functioning of all these institutions. The RBI board decision “to create a specialized supervisory and regulatory cadre” should be perceived as a message for infusing professionalism at all levels in the financial sector.
M G Warrier, Mumbai
Who decides identity?
This refers to the article “Information and the politics of identity” (The Hindu Business Line, July 17) by Sanjoy Chakravorty, author of “The Truth About Us: The Politics of Information from Manu to Modi”. It is a universally admitted truth that the rich and the powerful make decisions for all others. But, till recently, the decision-makers also decided the quantum of information that should be in public domain and in what form. The technology explosion has made it difficult to maintain secrecy and literally, from ‘Mantras’ to ‘Manthri’s thoughts’ have become accessible on the internet.
This article asks intelligent questions provoking thoughts on fundamental issues. Like, “Who decided Tribals are Hindus?”. Thus paving the way for corrections in our approach to basic issues like religion, politics and poverty. Perhaps, the author’s book referred to above may answer some of the questions raisedin this article. But more important is, hopefully, this article may help open a healthy debate on how misinformation and untruth are branded and sold in the political open market without attracting any penal provisions of law.
M G Warrier, Mumbai
Debating budget
This refers to the report “Budget targets are completely unrealistic” (HBL, July 12). Assuming the former finance minister P Chidambaram is right on facts and figures, one wonders why no suggestions for alternative approaches to achieve the targeted milestones in the budget presented were not made in the reported version of the Rajya Sabha member’s speech. It is also not clear whether Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had considered and rejected any of the suggestions offered by former FM or his party during the pre-budget exercise which included calling for suggestions for Budget 2019-20 from public.
The above observation is in the context of the Honourable Rajya Sabha member not having expressed any reservations about the ‘targets’ in the budget while doubting the prospects of achieving those targets. Citizens expect nation’s development planning to be a joint effort by the elected representatives  in legislatives belonging to the ruling party and the opposition. Government, on their side should draw from the pool of experience available in the opposition.
M G Warrier, Mumbai
Create a talent pool
This refers to the piece “Why a home-grown economist is best suited to be RBI Deputy Governor” by KR Srivats (HBL, Analysis, July 9). While GOI’s preference while making top level appointments has always been for amenable individuals, merit and professional integrity were rarely compromised while filling top level positions in RBI. The reasons for Dr Raghuram Rajan not getting extension beyond 3 years and Dr Urjit Patel and Dr Viral Acharya cutting short their own tenures as governor and deputy governor are ‘personal’ though not in the same sense the word is generally understood.
The three distinguished economists came to RBI on sort of ‘sabbatical’ retaining their liens elsewhere. One is not sure whether any other similar organization would have allowed its employee to keep a lien in another organization. Such inter-mobility of roles, for attracting talent, in the normal course, should have been ‘outside’ the regular rolls.
For appointments at the highest level in organizations like RBI and other establishments, GOI should maintain a live talent pool in a transparent manner from among willing candidates working anywhere in the world.
M G Warrier, Mumbai


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