Sunday, June 16, 2024

On economics


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 I’m an avid reader of The Shillong Times. It’s the first thing I do in the morning before starting the day.  In the last couple of weeks, three articles have appeared in close intervals in the editorial page of ST on the subject of economics. The protagonist in all the articles is the senior most professor of the department of economics, NEHU. It seems that  the scholar wants to convey that (a) there is something fundamentally wrong in the way economics is being taught and propagated in the classrooms around the world and in the region in particular (ii) currently there are no good economics books on the northeast worth mentioning (iii) economics is divorced from reality. Going through these articles, I can’t help but ask some hard questions. What has the Professor been doing all this time other than to rake up these issues in the twilight of his career? Has he put forward and implemented an alternative approach to teaching the subject in his department in the University. Given that he has spent so many years in the region, has he himself written any standard book on the economy of the region that covers all the aspects ignored by other economists of the region in their writings as per his claims? Is there any article written by him on the economy of the region published in reputed international or national academic journals? More importantly, given that he has been so long in the department, has he established any centre, institute or programme/project to study the economy of the state or the region? Since that there are so many economic problems confronting the region, what has been his level of involvement in policy decision at least at the state, regional and national level to address these challenges? I certainly have not heard about this professor and his contributions until ST brought him out of the cocoon of NEHU. Are his rantings about the state of the subject and its ills borne out of genuine concerns  or are they the manifestation of  a frustrated and underachievement of his own career?  While talk is cheap, to walk the talk is another thing altogether.  Lastly, I suggest that he share his articles in some academic journals where his scholarly views on the subject will be better acknowledged and effectively critiqued by his peers.

Yours etc.,

Hubert Lyngdoh,


 Penchant for VIP status


In spite of the repeated directions of the State Government that officers who are not entitled to place VIP lights on their Government vehicles should refrain from doing so, many officers continue to flout the rules. The worst offenders are the MCS officers who are of the rank of Directors of Departments such as Social Welfare, Sports, Labour, Tourism etc.  The rank of these officers  is way below that of the Secretary to the Government , the minimum rank of  an official  as understood to be  approved  by the Government   for entitlement  of a VIP light  besides of course, the Deputy Commissioner or Superintendent of Police within their respective jurisdictions. These MCS officers mentioned above, blatantly disregard the Government’s direction  because  their ego is deflated in the absence of   a VIP light  on their vehicles. One wonders how they are not ashamed of pretending to be what they are not. As there are already too many VIP vehicles  plying on our roads, the Government should not only issue directions but should follow up with stringent action to strip the VIP lights from these unauthorised  vehicles  as the public are already disgusted with this arrogant display of self importance.

Yours etc.,

Skhembor Laloo,

Via email

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