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Thursday, Jan 26, 2006


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LSE seeks more scholarship funds for Indian students

Our Bureau

Kolkata , Jan. 25

THE London School of Economics (LSE), which is actively seeking more scholarship funds for Indian students, is likely to make announcements on that front soon.

Talking to newspersons at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Partnership Summit 2006 here, Sir Howard Davies, Director, LSE, said: "We are hoping to find a way of preserving the memory of I.G. Patel, a former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and Director of LSE in the 1980s."

"It is my ambition that we should have a professorial chair in his name, one which focuses on research work and teaching about India." Sir Davies said it is one of his top fund-raising priorities for 2006.

Depicting LSE as a social sciences institution, and not a technology school, he said it has a lot to offer to India.

Sir Davies will be addressing the RBI early next week on the future of central banking, and how India can keep itself at the forefront of developments in the theory and practice of monetary policy and financial supervision.

Pointing out that this is an important part of the business infrastructure in any country, he said, "Businesses are quite heavily influenced by the quality of monetary policy and the regulatory environment."

While analysing the obstacles to broader India-EU ties at a technical session, he said there are still awareness issues in parts of the EU, "though less so in Britain these days."

Suggesting that some attitude problems and policy issues in the EU need to be addressed, he said, "Europe's attitude to agricultural production is an obstacle, which needs somehow to be overcome."

Admitting that it was easy for a non-political person like him to say that, Sir Davies said in parts of Europe, there are prejudices on outsourcing, and "of course, there are problems on the Indian side too."

He also described the CII Director-General, Mr N. Srinivasan, as "one of the bluntest analysts of the difficulties of doing business in India, and the practical problems involved." Sir Davies said, while quoting from a paper presented by the Director-General, that the cost of enforcing a contract was 43 per cent of the gross national income per head in India compared to 25 per cent in China and 4 per cent in Norway.

"Overall, the World Bank `doing business' Index, according to him, had India at Number 116 out of 155 countries, in terms of ease of access and cost of doing business."

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