Earlier, Bibek Debroy had resigned from the directorship of Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Contemporary Studies after being asked by Sonia Gandhi to get all research papers vetted by the executive committee.
The Economic Freedom for States of India publication had given high marks to
Modi Government Gujarat angering Indira Sonia Gandhi:
Subodh Kumar of Friedrish Naumann Stiftung, the German institute that commissioned the report, said: ‘‘The Congress has to be blamed more than Modi for such an unwise move. If Modi has been irresponsible, then Sonia Gandhi, giving in to pressure from her own party members, has been reckless in her decision.’’
The study's author Laveesh Bhandari writes in Business Standard on the study and the controversy:
Link: Opinion & Analysis.
As a co-author of the Economic Freedom for the States of India index (which rated Gujarat as the top state on the index in March this year), I have been mutely witnessing the great tamasha that a simple rating of economic conditions across India has become. It is unfortunate that conditions were created where the independent-minded (but in all likelihood, Congress-sympathetic) Bibek Debroy had to resign from the directorship of Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Contemporary Studies (RGCIS). It does not matter that Narendra Modi’s ads on the top ranking his state got were a farce, and it is totally irrelevant to the matter that Gujarat’s ranking had nothing to do with Narendra Modi. It was the result of hard work and good decisions by many previous administrations — those of the BJP as well as the Congress. The key issue, however, is that of institutions, institution builders and institutional independence.
By responding to the crass Narendra Modi ads (that even the BJP did not take seriously) the RGICS governing council has, in one stroke, wiped away the energy and atmosphere that characterised the institute. Jawaharlal Nehru was instrumental in setting up the National Council of Applied Economic Research 50 years ago.
NCAER was set up
outside the government and was given complete autonomy to freely
critique what Nehru’s favourite child — the Planning Commission — was
did not head NCAER, nor did he allow its independence to be
overshadowed by momentary political considerations.
But then Nehru was an institution builder.