By Raj Shree Verma, India
From day one we are into the thought process of economic and sustainable development. I was eagerly waiting for this day, as this was going to bring the values of financial institutions to bring sustainability. I am faculty in the Rural Management Program at Xavier Institute of Social Service, India. While dealing course on Managerial Economics, my students use to come across many diversified discussions, the core of all is the economic and social development of the rural economy in a sustainable manner. This particular day in our program brought many informative sessions to understand the role of financial institutions in bringing sustainability. The day started with two sessions with Abu Jalal from Suffolk University first on The Future of the FinTech Revolution and second on History of the Federal Reserve and its Mandates.
We learned about the value of technology for financial institutions. Technology for Finance, and how COVID-19 became a blessing in disguise to bring many countries to being cashless, especially countries of Asia and Africa, was interesting to learn about. This has been observed in India too. The importance of culture cannot be denied for the acceptance of such a change in the function of the Financial Economy. If I am to share my takeaway, it will be understanding the cultural perspective of rural India to make it financially literate, which I can share in my sessions.
The role of FinTech in fundraising, payments, investment, trading, lending, banking and insurance shows its expanding nature. This is the call of the day of human resources; if one wants to avoid the threat of unemployment as a result of technology substituting humans, then very frequently it is required that they have to learn, unlearn, and relearn with the changing financial growth and development. Students of Rural Management, through me, will understand the changing perspective of employment and unemployment for livelihood promotion.
Fiscal Currency, Quantum Computers, the Death of Cash, Digital Asset, and Digital currency have all been discussed referring to examples across the world. Also, Tec-Finance, with examples of Google, Apple, and Walmart has given another perspective to technology intersecting with finance. The challenges and security threats are interesting to understand, and have enhanced my ability to lead students to an increased understanding about financial inclusion, with the relative locational challenges and security threats.
As a Masters in economics student back in 2000-02, I took Monetary Economics as my specialization. The second session with the professor was interesting and helped me to compare the functioning of the US economy with that of India. With an exciting history of the coming up of the Federal Reserve System, he shared about the Fiscal Policy and Monetary Policy, where both aim for the same objective but still work independently. The structure of the Federal from the country level to the regional level to the state level was interesting to observe. Printing of notes to the minting of coins, Discount Rates, Reserve Requirements and Open Market operation seems so similar to what is done in India. It makes me understand the functioning of Reserve Bank of India to Federal Bank of USA. In my Monetary Policy class this case will help in designing the critical thinking among students, comparison between a developed nation and a developing nation.
The post-lunch session was about the history of economics. We felt that it would make us sleepy but a big NO. The way Economic History of the World was brought by Dan Barbezat from Amherst College was full of energy. I have read Malthusian Model in my college days but the perspective with which he shared about the change-over in Birth Rate and Death Rate has raised our eyebrows. He shared about the growth path of many countries. I am also working in Gender & Development and have thought about the opportunity cost of women working to the cost of child-rearing, which will also work for the reduction of the birth rate, but relating it with Technology then to Malthusian Model was a new perspective to receive from him which I will share in my course.
I loved being part of these sessions. They are an add-on to my knowledge bank which will help in upgrading my courses and giving better sharing in the classes. Interacting with such scholars is so enriching and appreciated, especially the engaging nature of their sessions. While it was a little challenging for the participants with limited knowledge in economics, the resources the speakers exposed us to made it easy for all to understand. Thank you ITD for bringing such sessions and such experts to us.
All opinions expressed by the program participants are their own and do not represent nor reflect official views from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, or of the Institute for Training and Development, Inc.