It all started with my professor announcing in class that Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (GIPE) was organizing a Research Paper presentation competition for students of Economics for their annual event “Manan – 2015” on 25th October, 2015. She asked if we would like to participate and showed us the list of topics. One of the topics was “Make in India or Make for India” which coincidentally was the same topic that I had already chosen for my course term paper. I could not believe that the same topic was chosen by GIPE too and hence I volunteered immediately. Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics is a very prestigious institute and this was an opportunity I could not miss.

Being an Indian and a student of Economics, I was already aware of the topic and the issues surrounding it. It had been a hot topic for many leading newspapers and TV channels and was also widely discussed among the students and professors on campus. Websites and newspapers were filled with articles about it, many with varying viewpoints. Hence, I decided to follow the most credible ones, especially where the RBI Governor was quoted extensively.

Zeroing in on the top points was not so difficult, but the 5000 word essay that followed, took a lot more effort and research on my part. It involved a great deal of precision in writing and fact finding. I also had to ensure that the paper had a natural flow to ensure a smooth read, at the same time avoiding any confusions and repetition without forgetting important points. It took a fair amount of time to complete, but in the end it was worth the effort.

I was ecstatic when my paper ‘Make in India or Make for India: Determining a new approach to fast-track India’s economic growth’ was selected. Manan 2015 had received 21 student abstracts from all over India. However, only 9 were asked to submit their final papers and merely 6 were selected for the final presentation. Getting shortlisted was, in itself, a creditable achievement.  Also notable was the fact that out of the 6 finalists, 4 were postgraduate economics students while my fellow student, Medha Aurora, and I were the only undergraduates, a fact acknowledged by the prestigious jury. They praised the concept clarity that our papers demonstrated and the organisers too, congratulated us both for meeting the high quality standards set by GIPE for research paper submissions.

Besides being a great learning experience and an opportunity to showcase our knowledge, research and writing skills, we also got an opportunity to make FLAME University proud. We owe a vote of thanks to our esteemed professors, as well as to FLAME for inculcating the discipline and concept clarity that this kind of extensive research demands.

The fact that my paper was selected from amongst so many others and the fact that I was given an opportunity to present my paper to an external jury and being in the same league as postgraduate economics students has greatly boosted my confidence and will continue to encourage me to put in my best efforts in everything I do for the rest of my life.

Jaidev Mehrotra