Thursday, March 18, 2010

How far can economic conferences take us?

Recently we had an annual general meeting(AGM) hosted for the very purpose of discussing economic matters under the aegis of the prestigious PIDE's society of development economists.Besides reading out papers full of conceptual, bookish knowledge, which is a click away on the internet, the audience got to hear nothing out of the box!!
If we are hoping to improve our economy by conducting "lavish" conferences(tea breaks and lunches were the highlight for three days), i doubt we will be heading towards any progress!!The AGM proved to be an excuse to build up false impressions on people and an "utter" formality, which has been going on since the last 25 years.Yes, our government needs to wake up because people are feasting at marriot in the name of "Economic Conferences".I may be wrong, but i dont think we can come up with economic miracles by shear sittings at a grand venue, with a hollow objective in mind!!
Suggest ways of how we can make these conferences effective so we don't end up squandering away resources(just like we did at the 25th AGM)!!


  1. I think such conferences or think-channels are important and play a very vital function in society specially if there is democracy. However, how much we end up spending is something can be discussed. May be with the same amount of money, PSDE could host two conference in some other cheap Hotel. My argument is that such academic conferences MUST BE organized in Universities not outside the campus.

  2. well mariam these conferences can only take us to marriot and not any further. All those pseudo intellectuals were there only for the purpose of presenting papers and scoring. though all the issues discussed there did have real economic relevance but no one there discussed these with the 'intention' of finding solutions to the problems. why is it that even after such intellectual discussion we don't even move an inch ahead?
    that is why I prefer a jalsa to such conference because these conferences are nothing more than a mere deception.

  3. @sir Zubair:sir as far as holding these conferences is concrened i agree it should take plce, but only if the people presenting papers have a real objective in mind!i mean how easy is it for anybody to just read from their slides??and that too things which are already known.We need to get out of statistics,models and numbers so that we can think and reflect on issues more deeply!
    I think inorder to actually make these effective, concerned individuals should come up with their own perspectives and suggestions and how to implement them!!also more time should be given to an interactive session between the audience and the panel because that is when we can gain more.

  4. @nazish;by jalsa you mean open air sessions with the general public??
    I think like sir said we should organize such things at a university level and also students should be more involved in this rather than teachers, professional or bureacrats!!
    As long as jalsas dont turn into riots, i think even they can do the job!!But that word sadly has a political ring to it, which is why it wouldnt be viable i think!!

  5. i think you are taking the whole event in the wrong way! i myself didn't attend most of the sessions but the idea is not to feast at expensive hotel on the expense of Govt!!!
    I think PSDE has done a great job... they have provided people with the forum to come and speak of their work. If you think that right now they don't have an objective then we are here too... when our time comes we'll give this conference an objective! At the current AGM there were 35 (i think) papers presented and they were young economists! they are making an effort and we are just criticizing... is that productive? you call that giving conference an objective?
    the idea here should be to learn how to present a paper! listen to what paper has to say... and after few years with enough knowledge and study come up with your own and tell the people what you think should be done in the economy... convince the big guns and thats how you bring a change... jalsa is not the solution of everything :)

  6. if presenting papers was the primary objective, then i must say it was a complete waste of time!the papers were so poorly presented, i doubt if they themsleves understood a word out of it!and even you would agree on the fact that hardly any one of them came up with anyhting innovative or practical!talking about mere models and their literature dsnt help now!we need hard core policies to deal with our countless issues starting with loadshedding, transport fares..etc
    i doubt if you attended enough sessions to actually know what went on inside!!

  7. the only problem i have with these type of conf is that most of their outcomes are not practically applicable or if by chance do as my fellow said cant able to impress the big i also do prefer jalsa bcz the mob has the power to implement things.

  8. @hamza:i think mobs would just fuel up more issues!!we are talking about peaceful, civil matters ,where mobs would just kill the purpose!
    Discussing these issues, be it at confrences or at jalsas would prove futile if in the end none of them are implemented or even heard at the top most level!

  9. @mariam:i ma also not in favor of violence but our system is incapable of providing opportunities for the i believe we have only left with the choice to make our voice listened by the jalsa n if it do not serves the cause then mob.

  10. doubts are good but you gotta question your ownself first rather than raising your fingers at those who's faces are exposed already to the world. You just better not expect them for anything if you want to grow and succeed! These
    conferences are no bad but tragedy is that we, the audience were not serious enough either. If students who get a's and b's were sitting outside the hall and saying that it's absolute boring or bullshit, I understand this but such an attitude wil not help us by any mean. This is where I am more concerned and bothered, if we, the youth have such a balnk and casual take to this than you better not expect for any betterment at all. It is never a one's show, remember, there has to be a cumulative effort and we, the youth must have that energy and wits to challange the prevailing system and that will not just happen with the talks and talks and talks. It require more than just talking things, I believe and for that You got to set an example yourself and than ask for the betterment!
    As far as the papers are concerned, than we shouldn ot forget the standards which our part of the society has, So you better not blame them for anytihng atleast they jump into this ride and 'try' to do something and a tint of 'try' is what we need with the sincerity of our efforts and we're yet to be connected with it. Things do not improve by raising the fingers to others or playing the blaming games so it is better not to talk much and should be stressing more on 'doings' rather on anything else. Hardly, there is any pure fish left out there, We are all to be blamed equally, naturally people ruling us are more to be blamed but we are not far behind ths race either. Rule must be applied to each of us not just to one particular part, or particular component. It's a collective issue which must be dealt and handle collectively with some sincerity and honesty which tends to be the Biggest hurdle for our sucess and grwth!


  11. Everyone here has his or her own opinion that whether these type of conferences have a positive outcome or not. Well, the answer bends both ways. Positively speaking, it certainly is very constructive, if taken seriously. These conferences provide a healthy platform for various people from different social sectors to speakup their mind. But unfortunately this do not happen. We all have been witness of this recently. Let me tell you one thing, this all is a part of lobby and to our dismay, this cannot be removed from the system because these discussions help the government to sketch their way i.e. policy making. Still there can be silver lining to these clouds,and that is if these conferences would be arranged among common people rather than lavish hotels, probably then these presenters and listeners would pay attention to the critical situation prevailing n our country.

  12. @mahvesh;i agree blame games dont prove fruitful, but it helps people realise what ought to be done and how?i mean now if us students are giving the job to read out a paper in the next AGM., we wld obviously make sure not to let the audience sleep wid the monotone, senseless crap!
    criticism comes easy to a person, but there is difference between constructive criticism and hollow lampooning!!
    as far as individual effort is concerned, i agree wid you for sure!!we as the nation must have an inner awakening too!!n should start acting like responsible, accountable citizens!

  13. @commoner's voice;you are right, we need to hold such gatherings among the common people, only that way we can ensure a participatory approach to policy making.
    and regarding the lobbying, ofcourse its part of every society,,,but we have lobbyists working for public interests as well, so hw is dt a hindrance?

  14. @mariam, first of all a lobby is a lobby, they come talk, eat and go to their homes, but this is also true that only a few lobbyist have been parasitic. The lobbyists working for public interest are actually the one's who feel for people and know what they are talking. The are not actually lobbyist but rather known as philanthropists, they are aware of common person's situation. So until and unless the lobbies provide a healthy and productive approach that is good but like I said before a lobby is lobby, only few stand up among them to actually work other than that they just talk.

  15. People ur all right. But an intellectual is an intellectual only when he can address the true problems a society is faced with and for that he himself should be well connected and well aware of what is happening on the ground. An intellectual should practice and believe in what he speak. But unfortunately our intellectuals bring revolutions only on internet or in the five star hotels. Until and unless their intellect is communicated to the people for whom they claim to think (the masses) its useless. therefore such intellectual debates should be held in public(jalsa). And friends please stop considering people stupid as we ourselves are part of the masses. Remember these masses bring revolutions and social changes.


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