Monetary Policy Committee: Meet the three new members
India on Thursday picked three economists from the academic world for a new monetary policy committee (MPC) to set interest rates, as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) gets ready for a landmark switch in the way it decides policy.
The three are Chetan Ghate, a professor at the Indian Statistical Institute, Pami Dua, a director at the Delhi School of Economics, and Ravindra Dholakia, a professor at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.
They will join RBI Governor Urjit Patel and two senior officials from the bank's monetary policy department.
Ghate is an associate professor in the planning unit at the Indian Statistical Institute in New Delhi and has taught most of his career, including at Colorado College. He has a Ph D from the Claremont Graduate University in California.
He is probably the most familiar to the RBI, as he sits on a five-member technical advisory committee that has provided non-binding advice on interest rates to the RBI Governor. But the RBI does not disclose a breakdown of the individual recommendations, making it hard to know his stance.
Ghate was also a member of the panel headed by Patel that in 2014 recommended policy changes, including targeting inflation and establishing a panel to decide rates.
He is well-versed on monetary policy, having written research papers on the supply-side impact of inflation. His areas of interest include macroeconomic theory and policy, growth and development, political economy, open economy and macroeconomics.
Ghate won the 2014 Mahalanobis Memorial Gold Medal, given to the best economics researcher in India under the age of 45.
Dua has been a director at the Delhi School Of Economics since 2013, and was the head of the department of economics of the institute between 2010 and 2014. She is a career-long professor who has taught at the University of Connecticut and Yale and has a Ph D from the London School of Economics.
She specialises in macroeconomics and has written several papers on topics including inflation, exchange rates and foreign capital inflows. Her areas of research include time series econometrics, forecasting, macroeconometrics and business cycle analysis.
Dua was on the RBI's committee on data and information management in 2014 and was also previously a member of the technical advisory group on leading indicators at the RBI from 2006 to 2008.
Dholakia has been a faculty member at the Indian Institute Of Management, Ahmedabad, since 1985. He has a Ph D from the University of Baroda.
He has nearly four decades of experience teaching economics, has been on various government committees and was on assignments at international organisations, including the World Heath Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF.
Dholakia has been on various government committees including one on restructuring of state-run units appointed by the Gujarat government in 1999-2000 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister.
His areas of interest include policy analysis, international trade, fiscal policy and public debt, economic development and planning on issues such as health, education and labour.
In one of his research papers on unemployment trade-offs in developing countries, Dholakia argued that containing demand side pressures with monetary policy tools was likely to lower the rate of recovery.
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