Pune, 19th January 2024: Shamika Ravi, a prominent Member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, emphasized the critical need for evidence-based policymaking during the inaugural session of the Pune Public Policy Festival (PPPF) held at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. The event, organized by Sahil Deo with support from the Parimal and Pramod Chaudhari Foundation, aimed to bring together thought leaders and policymakers to discuss pressing issues in governance.
In her keynote address on ‘Catalyzing Impactful Governance Through Evidence-Based Policymaking,’ Shamika Ravi delved into various economic aspects, including the pension scheme, extended maternity leave, skilling, and employment. Dr. Ajit Ranade, VC of the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, engaged in a discussion with her following the keynote. Indranil Chitale, who presented the opening remarks, shared insights into the rationale behind organizing the PPPF.
Ravi stressed the importance of evaluating the economic cost of welfare schemes, pointing out that while schemes like MNREGA are beneficial, they must be assessed in terms of affordability. She dismissed the feasibility of reverting to the old pension scheme, citing budget constraints and the need to prioritize spending for the benefit of a larger population.
Commenting on the extension of paid maternity leave, Ravi acknowledged its positive aspects but highlighted its impact on reducing the percentage of women in the workforce. She emphasized the role of governance in ensuring the effective implementation of policies across different states and raised questions about the emergence of new jobs in the future.
Addressing the issue of unemployment, especially among highly educated youth, Ravi underscored the importance of understanding the private sector’s potential to create jobs. She encouraged economics students to incorporate open-source data into their research, noting the gap between industry-required skills and the perception of the right job among educated youth.
Following the inaugural session, a panel discussion on “Reimagining Urban Transformation – The Trade-off between Environment and Development” provided a platform for experts, including PCMC Municipal Commissioner Shekhar Singh and PWC India’s partner Shardul Phadnavis, to share insights on striking a balance between environmental concerns and urban development.