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BW Businessworld

Lead Review: Growth And Happiness

The book also searches how cultural values and human happiness are key functions of sustainable economic growth

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Perhaps this is the right time for a book like The Economic Reactor. The two core themes of the book — economic growth and happiness — have long been very thought-provoking subjects of my personal interest. The book poses some very key questions based on these two core themes, especially at current times when the Indian economy is at an extremely interesting and exciting stage. The charged momentum, new ideas, greater entrepreneurial energy and a new wave of altered thinking.

Every citizen has become more conscious, involved and engaged at a macro level, in India’s inherent domestic potential, future growth prospects and opportunities, India’s international relations with other countries, as well as, at a micro level with one’s own individual and societal happiness. The book, hence rightfully explores the question — what leads to sustainable economic growth and happiness? How are they related?

The Economic Reactor is indeed, a thought provoking exposition by Bahl. It is a book that visualises the economy of a country as an engine that functions as a sum total of all its parts, in good cadence with each other, as the country aims to work towards sustainable economic growth. It explores the performance of the Indian economy to achieve sustainable growth in the context of State-Centre relationship, role of economic research and other integral components as the education system, judiciary, focus on economic policies and social reforms for women and the disadvantaged to bring them into the mainstream. Bahl talks of changes in the current approach of our education system to promote generation of ideas, as well as how both internal and external markets and trade may be made more efficient. He also analyses India’s taxation system to ideate on greater efficiency.

The book also searches how cultural values and human happiness are key functions of sustainable economic growth. It has also drawn important inferences from the past to suggest ways to make the Indian economy more efficient. Bahl has leveraged his background very well and has created a strong advantage of not having economics as an academic subject. His thoughts and ideas on economic growth through an inclusive approach, therefore, is not constrained by preconceived concepts generated by typical schools of economic thought. His ideas are clearly driven by his vision, passion, historical evidence and learnings as well as real, on-ground current circumstances.

Individual parts yet one whole that come together to generate and re-generate greater energy. The title of the book is well justified through its analogy to a reactor that enables fissile material to undergo self-sustaining reactions with the consequent release of energy.

It is an interesting, read without technical economic jargon, for those who subscribe to the fact that release and implementation of new ideas integrating industrial and social constituents ensures sustained economic growth.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Harshil Mehta

The author is CEO, DHFL

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