Following are excerpts from the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh™s remarks, at the foundation-stone laying function for the new NCAER Centre, in New Delhi today:
I am very happy today, to be here on this occasion, to lay the foundation stone of the new building of the National Council of Applied Economic Research. The institute is a great asset to us, and it is obligatory on all those who work, or are associated with this magnificent institute, to never lose sight of the vision of the founding fathers of the NCAER. I remember Dr. P.S. Lokanathan, who, after serving as the first Secretary General of the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far-East, took over as the first Director General of this great institute and I reflect on what he stood for.
The purpose of the study of economics is not to provide settled answers to unsettled and difficult questions, but sometimes to warn economists and the world-at-large, how not to be misled by clever governments.
I would like to say, that when we study economics, our impulse is not the philosopher™s impulse knowledge for the sake of knowledge but for healing that that knowledge may help to bring. These are the words of past thinkers: Wonder is the beginning of philosophy; but it is not wonder, but social enthusiasm, which revolts against the silence of fixed life, and the orderliness of the mainstream, which is the beginning of economic science.
I sincerely hope that this institute will stay faithful to the ideals which the founding fathers stood for, and I must say that with the passage of time, the need for creating purposeful, applied economic research is not diminished, it has actually gone up. Meaningful research has been done by past Chairmen and past members of the NCAER. I sincerely hope that this building which is now going to come up, will provide a hospitable environment for the pursuit of applied economic research. With these words, I once again express my sense of joy to be associated with this function.