Advice & Dissent: My Life in Policy Making

[L-R] Vinod Rai, Yaga Venugopal Reddy, Ashok Shekhar Ganguly, Viral Acharya, and Amish Tripathi

The evening saw business leaders, policymakers, and government officials, all in attendance for former RBI governor Dr. Y.V Reddy’s new book Advice & Dissent: My life in Policy Making. The panel members included Vinod Rai, 11th Comptroller and Auditor General of India and joined by Viral Acharya, deputy governor, RBI, Dr. Ashok Shekhar Ganguly, former director of the Central Board of the RBI and Amish Tripathi, author of The Immortals of Meluha.

The conversation began with Vinod Rai’s address, who mentioned that Dr. Reddy is a contrast from Frank Herbert’s characterization of a civil servant, “A bureaucrat, an official who works by a fixed routine, without exercising intelligent judgment” as Dr. Reddy helmed innovation, democracy, and transparency at RBI. Dr. Ashok Ganguly termed the book as a ‘must-read’ and said that there are many learning and takeaways from the book Dr. Ashok Ganguly spoke about Dr. Reddy’s appointment and the key transformations led by him during his tenure as the governor of RBI.

Viral Acharya brought up the intricacies and complexities involved in decision making at the RBI, and how Dr. Reddy’s book mentions ‘the importance of calibration for the size of reserve’ which is still relevant to the RBI. Viral Acharya underlined Dr. Reddy’s strategies which led India to avoid the global financial crisis which is also finds a mention in the book. Amish Tripathi’s address was unconventional as it revolved around the qualities of a banker. Tripathi talked about Dr. Reddy’s pragmatism and conservativeness based on his experiences and these qualities being ‘gunhas’ for bankers.

Reported by: Vidit Jain, Intern, Asia Society India Centre

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