Seminar by VC, Niti Aayog

Seminar by VC, Niti Aayog

Seminar on ‘Viksit Bharat, India’s G20 Presidency: Implications for India’s States’ by Shri Suman Bery, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog

Chair: Shri T P Srinivasan, Former Ambassador of India & Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations

Welcome: Prof. C Veeramani, Professor, RBI Chair & Director, CDS

While Kerala has performed remarkably well on human development indicators, the State needs to ensure high-quality economic growth to sustain the hard-earned gains, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Suman Bery has said.

Mr. Bery, who took over as the Vice Chairman in May 2022, was speaking on ‘Indian States in Viksit Bharat: Some Implications of India’s G20 Presidency’ at the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) here.

“I think Kerala very much sees that its future also depends on creating a favourable investment environment for growth,” he said, observing that the youth need to be provided with optimism about domestic opportunities. And that, he said, can only come with growth.

On challenges faced by the State, he said Kerala had scope for improvement in water management, innovation and export preparedness. Further, it would need to address the twin demographic challenges of shrinking working-age population and a higher representation of the older population.

Different approach
Speaking on the development paradigms for States, Mr. Bery said the ‘one size fits all’ concept is not going to work for the states as it may not reflect local realities. There is also a need to encourage the States to learn from each other, he said, pointing out that Viksit Bharat was about the States. ‘‘Every State must be developed by leveraging its unique characteristics. The trajectory of demographic transition is different in every State,” he noted.

On India’s G20 Presidency, Mr. Bery observed that 2023, in many ways, was “a coming-out party” for Indian strategic and economic diplomacy. Robust economy, advanced technological capabilities and the position of a major geopolitical player underline India’s important position in the current global space, he said.

Mr. Bery likened the Amrit Kaal vision to the Les Trente Glorieuses (‘The Glorious Thirty’), the eventful 30-year period following World War II which saw France emerge as a major power.

Former Ambassador T. P. Sreenivasan chaired the session. CDS Director C. Veeramani also spoke.

Shri Suman Bery is currently Vice Chairperson, NITI Aayog, in the rank and status of a Cabinet Minister. An experienced policy economist and research administrator, Mr Bery took over as NITI Aayog Vice Chairperson from 1 May 2022. At the time of his appointment, Mr Bery was a Global Fellow in the Asia Programme of the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington D.C.; and a non-resident fellow at Bruegel, an economic policy research institution in Brussels. He was also a member of the Board of the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, New Delhi.

From early 2012 till mid-2016, Mr Bery was Royal Dutch Shell’s global Chief Economist based in The Hague. In this capacity, he advised the board and management on global economic and political developments. He was also part of the senior leadership of Shell’s global scenarios group. During his time at Shell, he led a collaborative project with Indian think tanks (later published) to apply scenario modeling to India’s energy sector.

Before his appointment at Shell, Mr Bery served as Director-General (Chief Executive) of the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) in New Delhi-one of India’s most respected institutions of empirical socioeconomic research. During his tenure, NCAER greatly extended its global links and was recognized as one of India’s leading think tanks by the independent global Think Tank Initiative. In his decade leading NCAER, Mr Bery was at various times member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council; of India’s Statistical Commission; and of the Reserve Bank of India’s Technical Advisory Committee on Monetary Policy. He commented extensively in the media on economic issues, and contributed a monthly column to an Indian business newspaper.

Prior to NCAER, Mr Bery was with the World Bank in Washington D.C., which he joined through the Young Professional Programme. His career at the World Bank spanned research on financial sector development and country policy and strategy, notably in Latin America and the Caribbean. His country experience included Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru. His experience on financial sector reform in Latin America led to an appointment as Special Consultant to the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India between 1992 and 1994.

His professional writing includes contributions on the political economy of reform, financial sector and banking reform, and energy trends and policy. He has a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, and an undergraduate degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Magdalen College, University of Oxford.