INAUGURATING OF ECONOMICS FORUM FOR THE YEAR 2020-21
The inaugural ceremony for the Economics Forum 2020-21 happened on August 27, 2020 on Microsoft Teams. Dr. Keshavmurthy introduced the newly elected core committee members.
With a gist of the activities and competitions conducted the previous year, this ceremony confided its members to look forward to various activities that are to be conducted this year as well.
The President for this year's Economics Forum, Sanjana Chopra, gave insights about the activities that can be expected this year. There was a guest lecture by Dr. Prabhakar who spoke about environmental science and economics.
FRITZ, an insightful competition was organised by the Economics Forum on 4th and 5th of September on Microsoft Teams. Students from first year and second year participated and showcased their intelligence and talent via three rounds. All the participants were divided in three teams. Each team consisted of 13-14 sub teams in a pair of two.
The first round was Pictionary, where participants were given three Economics terms and they were supposed to draw it using Google jam board or Teams Whiteboard and the team member had to guess what was being drawn. Students who qualified this round them competed in the next round which was Taboo. In this round, economics terms were given and the participant was expected to explain that particular word verbally without using four exceptional words, that were provided too.
The last round that happened on September 5th was JAM. Each topic had various speakers who were given chances as soon as they spot others' hesitation, deviation or repetition.
The winners were then announced on September 6. The first place was bagged by Devdut, register number 20BPS051. The second place was won by Anjum Sultana, 19BCOM53039. The third place was shared by Kritika and Mytri Rajdev from 20BCOMA38 and 20IES059 respectively.
Revisiting the birth of economics: from ancient to modern thought
On the 7th of September the Department of Economics, St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), along with the Economics Forum and Oikonomika organised a talk on “Revisiting the birth of economics: from ancient to modern thought. Dr. Niharika Singh, an Assistant Professor at Symbiosis University, led the talk, attended by over 500 students from all over India.
Dr. Singh kicked off the talk by discussing how economic history differs from the history of economic thought as well as the importance of understanding them. As modern economics relies heavily on numbers, the labour-intensive industries seems to be turning to machines and the human side of economics is being lost. Dependence on psychology and sociology is being replaced by artificial intelligence. However, as history tends to repeat itself, we have a chance to reform and refine what our predecessors could not.
Economics does not deal only with money or the economy, but it is a result of all activities that surround everyday life. Taking examples of the ancient Hindu and Hebrew civilizations, which were ahead of their times in terms of socio-political, ethical and moral philosophical grounds. She went on to further explain the journey of economics, as it advanced from mere ideas to a vital subject in today’s world.
While early civilisations condemned usury, followed division of classes, criticised making “money from money” and trade as they we largely based on the barter system, Plato and Socrates talk about individual morality and well-being, respectively. She goes on to talk about Scholastics and Saint Thomas Aquinas, who propagates that trade itself is not evil, instead its moral worth depends on the motive and conduct of the trader. We further went into how Scholasticism evolved into feudalism as well as spoke about Ibn Khaldun who explicitly talks about how prices of goods and services are determined by demand and supply.
As we moved into Humanism and the reformation, the shift from religion to self, the advancement in technology saw the greatest shift to mercantilism and favourable balance of trade. The interests of the merchants and traders was served as well as protected and encouraged by the state. The decay of mercantilism led to the rise of physiocracy that arose from the neglect of agriculture, regressive taxation, extravagant court life and hence the existence of socio-economic inequality.
From the start of classical economics to neo-classical, Keynesian, neo-Keynesian new classical and neo Keynesian, we have seen how economics has grown from Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” to the rise of behavioural economics. From being an individualistic human science to moving into a much more technical, mechanised and labour-intensive view and coming back to the integrated insights into psychological research, concerning human decision-making.
We have learnt how economics does not just deal with money and policies, but everyday life. We see how it is not confined to a few schools of thought, but is found everywhere, in all the decisions we make in our lives. The dependence on numbers seems to forget that the consumer is not always rational. As we gain a better insight into the theoretical vs mathematical economics or econometrics, we have certainly come to understand how it all started and how we can go forward with a much better understanding to the human side of economics.