The rapidly transforming Indian economy has thrown up a number of possibilities as well as several challenges with profound implications for India’s vast population as well as globally. The K R Narayanan Oration Series at the Australia South Asia Research Centre in The Australian National University has been devoted to in-depth examination of this important issue by leading experts. The present volume collects the first ten essays in this series. Contributors include Dr Raja Chelliah, Dr U R Rao, Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati, Mr P. Chidambaram, Dr C. Rangarajan, Lord Meghnad Desai, Prof. Pranab Bardhan, Dr Vijay Kelkar, Dr M S Swaminathan, and Dr K. Kasturirangan. The essays cover a broad array of topics from various aspects of economic reforms, the political economy of India’s development, the role of agriculture in India’s food security and the role of space research in India’s economic development. His Excellency Dr Narayanan and his successor as President of India, His Excellency Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, have provided introductory messages to the orations.
The December 2007 issue of The Indian Economic Journal features a review of The First Ten K.R. Narayanan Orationsˆ, edited by Raghbendra Jha by Pulin B. Nayak. He discusses:
‘The recent rapid growth experience in India has been a matter of substantial interest worldwide. This came about after India initiated a process of liberalisation and large scale reform of its economy in 1991 under the stewardship of Dr. Manmohan Singh who was then Finance Minister … The K.R. Narayanan Oration series at the Australia South Asia Research Centre in the Australian National University has been devoted to a detailed examination of this important issue by eminent scholars and policy makers. The present volume contains the first ten essays in the series. The essays expectedly cover a diverse range: fiscal policy reform, role of agriculture in India’s food security, the political economy of India’s development and the role of space research in India’s economic development, among others.’ Nayak concludes:
‘All in all, this volume contains a highly though provoking set of lectures on a range of themes that should be of great interest to scholars and policy makers. The lectures are all topical and the reader is called upon to think creatively about some core issues that are transforming the rapidly growing Indian economy.’
(Pulin B. Nayak, Delhi School of Economics, review of The First Ten K.R Narayanan Orations, edited by Raghbendra Jha, The Indian Economic Journal, Volume 55(3), pp. 189–90, December 2007)