Dear Fellow Members
- PK Chaubey
Welcome to 99th Annual Conference of the Indian Economic Association, which is scheduled to be held on 23-25 December 2016 at Jai Narayan Vyas University, Jodhpur. This conference has special significance as it is penultimate to the centenary conference. It should prove a prelude to expanding the role and activities of the Indian Economic Association. The Association was founded with Economics Professors from universities and colleges to hold annual conference, publish its proceedings, start its independent journal and issue it free to members (though thanks and courtesy to the University of Allahabad, The Indian Journal of Economics served this purpose) and to undertake such other actions as would promote Economic Science and disseminate economic information as would be advisable. The Association has been able to get prepared volumes on Indian Contributions in Economics on the occasions of Jubilee celebrations. Though later Association's role was articulated to be to promote study, teaching and research in Economics. And, the IEA Trust, created with savings of the International Economic Conference, did publish quite a few good teaching monographs. And of late, it has gone into supporting holding of regional conferences and publication of journals.
The Indian Economic Association is one of the oldest professional learned bodies of the world and the oldest professional learned body in social sciences and humanities in India. Next year it is going to celebrate its centenary. It is gratifying that no sooner teaching of Economics started in India, an association was formed, thanks to early teachers of Economics in India in the second half of the second decade of the twentieth century. Quite a few of them were British, as part of the then Indian Educational Service, and took opposite stands on the British connection with India.
Undoubtedly over time, many daughter associations have been formed both in sub-disciplines of Economics and in different parts of the country. There are quite a few associations with little different nomenclatures or addressing to penumbra concerns. Quite a few Institutions have started publishing good quality journals. The Indian Economic Association of late has started doing some cosmetic changes as a substitute for real transformation which is overdue. Quality of our deliberations seems to come down as sessions hardly get properly organised. On surface, activities seem to have increased but inside is getting hollow.
In this backdrop, instead of forming another Association, we, the conscience keepers, have decided, after a lot of churning at different levels at different places with a sizeable participation of the members, to assert our right to give proper direction to the activities of the Association.
However, a learned society like ours is not fully a professional body evolving and enforcing norms among its members so that its members severally and jointly serve the societal interest yet it is a body to promote professional competence and discourage dubious activities collectively and individually. Let us bear in mind that the Indian Economic Association is not a welfare organisation to serve the interest of its members by any means. It is a professional organisation to raise the standard of research and dissemination. This requires of us to set certain standards irrespective of its number and work towards adhering to them and raising them further. We should not lose sight of this basic premise; else there is little sense in what we are asserting for. Let there be no pretence for collecting numbers. Small numbers but professionally conscious members are better than large numbers with self-serving members. With this solemn resolve, let us embark upon revamping the Association through rigours of professional commitment and competence.
No activity is possible without the support of well-meaning socially conscious people. But for the kind support of Prof. R.P. Singh, the Vice Chancellor of JNV University and his colleagues--particularly from the Economics Department, it would have been quite difficult for us to organise this Conference at such a good institution. We owe our appreciation and profusely thank him and his team for kind support.
Once again, welcome to the beautiful campus of Jai Narayan Vyas University, Jodhpur, to attend the 99th Annual Conference of the Indian Economic Association scheduled to be held on 23-25 December 2016.
With best wishes and regards