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Policies should be flexible like Hinduism and English, says Principal Economic Adviser

According to Principal Economic Advisor Sanjeev Sanyal, eventually complex laws result in making systems opaque and rigid and flexibility is the most important driving principle

May 6, 2017: Principal Economic Adviser Sanjeev Sanyal strongly believes that dynamic and flexible policy regimes are strong and they work best for the industry. He said this in an interview to Network18.

Sanyal, a reputed economist with enormous experience up his sleeves has stressed on the idea and need of reacting quickly to any situation. “When you make a policy, you don’t try and work out every outcome and pre-empt them, because you don’t know what they are. The emphasis is on flexibility: It’s more important to react fast to an evolving situation.”

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According to Sanyal, eventually, complex laws result in making systems opaque and rigid. He also mentioned that flexibility is important and he considers it to be the most important driving principle.

“The English language is a complex adaptive system; Hinduism is a complex adaptive system; a successful city like London is a complex adaptive system. There is enormous flexibility in the English language, that’s why it’s a robust system, what Nicholas Nassim Taleb calls ‘anti-fragile’,” Sanyal said.

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Sanyal also pointed out how certain cities like Chandigarh, where plans have been “strictly adhered to”, have ended up sterile to some extent.

Sanyal Elaborated on his opinion about the tenets of Hinduism and drew parallels with complex adaptive systems saying: “In most other religions, the terms ‘religion’, ‘faith’ and ‘belief’ are interchangeable. In Hinduism, they are not. Hindus are seekers, they are not believers. Hinduism is a religion, which is concerned with the meaning of life, ethics and so on, like other religions. But it does not give you one particular belief.”

Sanyal feels that for a Hindu to put his faith in in one god, many gods, or to be an atheist or an agnostic is perfectly fine. If one can think of a new way of doing it, Hinduism allows that person to add to it or improvise it any way that person pleases. This living religion provides tradition and community, Hinduism does not stop one from writing new texts.

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Sanyal is the author of a number of books including the Land of the Seven Rivers: A Brief History of India’s Geography, The Indian Renaissance: India’s Rise After a Thousand Years of Decline, The Incredible History of India’s Geography and The Ocean of Churn. He currently serves as the deputy to Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

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