Who Will Feed India at the Center for the Advanced Study of India

On Tuesday, March 19, Global Philadelphia Association’s Executive Director Zabeth Teelucksingh attended an internationally-focused lecture at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI). The lecture, entitled, “Who Will Feed India?,” was given by Dr. Ashok Gulati, the current Infosys Chair Professor for Agriculture at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).

The lecture explored the political economy of India’s agricultural policies and their implications for future challenges ahead. According to the UN, the population of India will exceed that of China in 5 years’ time. A continuing national GDP growth of 7-8%, depleting water and land reserves, a total of 600 million urban dwellers by the year 2030, and an agricultural sector coming under mounting pressure to meet the growing population’s needs, are among the factors which pose major logistical obstacles to the Indian government. This outstanding lecture raised questions such as, who will deliver the food to fill that need – will it be nationally produced or imported externally? How have the prior agricultural policies of India contributed to these issues? What kind of shift is necessary to take advantage of future opportunities and face the challenges ahead? Dr. Gulati addressed these matters and more in his remarkable talk.

Dr. Gulati is a distinguished economic advisor and policy analyst who also serves on the boards of several banks in India. Throughout his prolific career, he has served as the Chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices for the Government of India, a Director at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and a member of Economic Advisory Councils to both the Prime Minister of India and the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. In 2015, Dr. Gulati was presented with the high civilian award “Padma Shri” by the President of India. He has made great contributions to the field, including 14 books and numerous papers and articles published in economic, policy, and agriculture journals.

This lecture is part of the wider public program, “Nand & Jeet Khemka Distinguished Lecture Series,” at the Center for the Advanced Study of India. According to CASI, the lectures serve as “a critical forum for analyzing and understanding the complex economic, political, social, and cultural transformations that the world’s largest democracy is experiencing, as well as the challenges that lie ahead.” CASI itself was founded in 1992 with the goal of cultivating scholarship and providing an open forum for discourse on these complex issues. This is the first American research institution devoted to the study of modern India.


Article written for Global Philadelphia Association by Cristina Serban

Copyright Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI), https://casi.sas.upenn.edu/