Pune: A Housewife Is the Best Economist Any Country Can Have, Says Prof. Dr. Vilas Adhav

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Niketan Kadam

Pune, 9th February 2024: The Union Budget Exhibition is an annual event hosted by the Department of Economics at Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, since 2007.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Dr. Parag Kalkar, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune. It was prepared by the students of M.A. Economics and was open to other departments as well as members of our society. The objective of this activity is to create awareness about various aspects of the Union Budget and train our students to explain these aspects to the visitors of this exhibition. Various faculty members from surrounding colleges in Pune, as well as students from these colleges, visited this exhibition and provided their feedback. Overall, the response from the students was overwhelming. Prof. Vilas Adhav, Head of the department, encouraged the students and supported this activity.

Dr. Adhav said, “It’s of immense importance that the common man understands the budget and knows how the government actually earns and spends money. He also commented that a housewife is the best economist any country can have, as economics is all about managing and distributing scarce resources, and she does that job excellently.”

The exhibition was open to all students of the University and affiliated colleges until 6 pm. Students of the department presented the highlights of the budget across ten categories. Gender budgeting, public expenditure, public debt, government schemes, green budget, social sectors are some of the categories on which students had prepared colorful posters in laymen’s language. The significant step was presenting each poster in English and Marathi language so that students of other departments can comprehend the nitty-gritty of the budget.

Prof. Dr. Mansi Gore, who was the coordinator, stated that, “According to the New Education Policy, where practical knowledge and experience are given prime importance, this exercise of students, where students of the subject explain to commoners the complex concepts of economics in easy language, brings NEP actually to work on the ground. She also added that they have added this exercise as part of the curriculum, where marks are assigned to first-year students and second-year students are assigned as project guides for every category.”

Dr. Adhav further added that the common man should have some basis to allocate his resources and understanding the government’s budget can direct his expenditure and savings-related decisions, so he should understand the budget well. Today’s students are going to be tomorrow’s lead earners of their families, so students need to absorb the economic concepts with ease, and thus the budget exhibition caters to this need.

When asked about his personal views on the budget, he commented that the government’s push for technology in agriculture, particularly in terms of nanotechnology, can help double farmers’ income by increasing the productivity of his farm. He also said the government needs to continue its enthusiasm for spending on social welfare to address the woes of marginalized sections of society.

Prof. Mansi, faculty of public finance at the department, when asked about economic dividends of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, spoke that the tourism sector in the region would get a huge boost, and tourists across the nation will visit the sacred place, promoting local businesses. On the question related to Fiscal Federalism and the ongoing tussle between states like Kerala, Delhi, and Punjab on one side and the central government on the other, regarding state government’s allegations that the central government is strangulating the opposition-ruled states in terms of the allocation of funds, he said the center and state should work like a team and in the spirit of Cooperative federalism to make the life of the common man happy.

Mayur Kumar, the second-year MA student at the Department of Economics of SPPU, who presented the poster related to Public expenditure category, said this is a very helpful exercise organized by the department and helps students to bring clarity in their thoughts about economic concepts.

Ganesh Wani, a student of the same department, expressed his thoughts that this exercise helps them to understand and revise various concepts related to micro and macroeconomics.