Atanu Dey On India's Development

Please Support this Scholar, Mr Chandrasekaran Balakrishnan

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This is a public service announcement seeking support for a scholar whose paper has been accepted at a conference in the US. He lives and works in New Delhi and has approached me for financial help to attend the conference. Details below the fold.

First, a brief bio of Mr Chandrasekaran Balakrishnan.

Born in Tamil Nadu, he received his BA and MA in economics from University of Madras. He is the first in his family to attend college, and the first from his home town to study economics. After completing his Master of Philosophy in 2005 from Dr Ambedkar Institute in Mhow, he has been working in the area in development economics.

After his master’s degree, he wrote an article on the “Impact of Globalisation on Developing Countries and India” for The 2004 Moffatt Prize in Economics (USA). This paper was selected later in 2006 as one of the Top 10 Most Read Economics Articles of 2006

An article of his on property rights and environmental factos was included in a book. His interests include liberalism and free market economics. He is greatly influenced by the writings of Ambedkar, B. R. Shenoy, F. A. Hayek, von Mises, and Ambirajan. He also writes a blog Hayekorder.blogspot.com.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Chandrasekaran a couple of years ago in New Delhi, and we have corresponded occasionally. I vouch for his personal integrity. Recently he wrote me an email saying:

I have written a research paper on “Was Dr.B.R Ambedkar a Free Market Economist?”

This paper is an ongoing project of mine, and has been written after a considerable reading and understanding of what he had argued in his various capacities as a student, professor, author, etc of economics in the early decades of twentieth century. As it is not surprise, he was a highly qualified authority on Indian monetary economics but there are only a few studies or articles written in analyzing his thoughts. This is true both in India and abroad. But there are many thoughts which he had expressed very lucidly (1920-30) but none of them were taken for analysis, both within academic and research institutions in India and abroad.

My research paper focuses the key elements of Dr.Ambedkar’s thoughts on Indian monetary economics which are not only completely ignored for many decades but also underestimated across the spectrum of avenues both in India and abroad. There are several ideas of Ambedkar’s which were well established and documented in his books/papers even before the economists and authors including Mr.Ludwig Von Mises, Dr.F A Hayek (Nobel Laureate in Economics, 1974), etc had argued.

There is virtually no one in India — past or present — to study what Ambedkar had profoundly argued in the banking systems and management of currency in society. My paper introduces Ambedkar as a prominent economist to the Marginalists School of Economics/Austrian School of Economics.

It is this gap which I have attempted to bridge in my research paper which has been accepted for presentation in the Austrian Scholars Conference 2011, to be held in March, 10-13, 2011 at Auburn, Alabama, USA. The Conference is organized by the Ludwig Von Mises Institute (LvMI), USA. My paper also explores possibility for broader debate on banking system and management of currency in the society world over. However, I did not get any financial support for my travel to present this unique paper in the Conference. I am also unable to finance from my own packet.

I need your kind support for making this trip to present my paper. I need some (whatever possible) financial support from you or suggest where I can approach.

Thank you.

My asking for financial support is unusual. I have never done this before. I think we have to lend a helping hand for a scholar such as Chandrasekaran. He needs around US$1,500 for airfare, $275 for registration, and $500 for hotel.

Of that, I have suggested to him that he should write to the organizers requesting that they waive the registration fees in light of the fact that no organization is sponsoring him.

So here’s my appeal to you. First, if you know some kind soul who would host him for the few days he will be in Auburn, Alabama, it would be great. It will save the $500 otherwise needed for the hotel.

Second, if you could make a small financial contribution towards the expenses, it would be great. I have asked friends and received pledges for $300, and I am adding $100 to that. So right now we are short of $1,800 towards our goal of $2,200.

If you would like to make a donation, please email me atanudey at gmail.com. When we have raised the amount required, I will post an update and close this campaign.

Thank you kindly for your support.

Update Friday 25th Feb:

Thanks to all who have responded with pledges of support. Please see the followup post for details.