IIT Kanpur team wins RBI Policy Challenge-2018

We take great pride in congratulating Mr. Ayush Agrawal, Mr. Kartikey Bhargav, Mr. Navneet Singh and Ms. Tanisha Mishra who won the first prize in the RBI Policy Challenge 2018, a national level event organised by RBI. Mentored by Dr. Wasim Ahmad of Economic Sciences department, the team outperformed teams from some of the top B-Schools of the nation. They have been awarded a cash prize of Rs. 1 Lakh, a trophy and a 3 months internship in any department of RBI.

The RBI Policy Challenge, is a national level policy making competition, started in the year 2016 by Prof. Raghuram Rajan with the intention to further spread knowledge of the financial, monetary and banking disciples among the student community. It is a 3-tier competition testing the participants on their financial understanding spanning across a range of skills. The regional round is the Essay Writing competition, which tests your writing and comprehension skills. The topic for this years regional round was, “Can FinTech revolutionize access to finance in India?” Based on the submissions of the first round 7 teams from each of the zones battled it out at the RBI Regional Office on 2nd February in the second policy making round. They were assigned real life problems based on monetary issues the solutions to which had to be presented in a 15 minute presentation. Testing interpretational skills and understanding of contemporary financial skills, the second round involved competition from eminent business schools like IIM Lucknow and DSE. One team from each zone qualified for the final round to be held in Mumbai. They were presented with the topic on the morning of the event itself. In a span of 4 hours they had to be ready with a 15 minute presentation qualitatively analysing the iffs and buts of the topic “Normalisation of the monetary policy in the advanced economies and their implications on India”.

On the day of the finals, once the topics were handed over, all the four teams were left in their allocated rooms for four hours with adequate facilities to prepare the presentation. As Ayush says, “Even our lunch was parcelled to us in packets.” The competition proceeded abiding by all the rules strictly with uptight arrangements. Shedding some light on the final preparation and the technical knowhow, Kartikey said , “We focused more on the qualitative analysis of the topic. Outline of the presentation covered aspects in global contexts such as oil prices, other countries in advanced economies and their stance on normalisation of monetary policies, the emerging markets worldwide, while coming to Indian scenario the GDP, intensity of its impact on India’s economy and other things were covered.”

Talking on how they went about preparing for the competition, Ayush shared his experience saying, “We began working up in winters post end semester exams. In 15 days we were done with the essay. It had to be taken care that it must be appealing and not plagiarised. After a lot of reading and brainstorming sessions we made it through the regional and zonal. For the national round we received some links and emails from RBI instructing about the ideal presentation and its format, leading to possible topics for the finals. Our mentor Dr.Wasim also provided us some papers and stuff to read.” He further remarked, “We formulated some presentations beforehand based on a couple of RBI reports on monetary policies and World bank’s report on India’s development and inflation. It was a challenging journey for the trophy, as the last round fell around semester exams, and each one of us missed at least one exam.”

But, as for every other journey, what matters in the end is the experience it brings with it. As Ayush says, “It was a fantastic experience in terms of growing and learning. The courses and exams would never amount to the practical knowledge and skills we developed working together as a team. We got a little touch of how real governors present their solutions in the meetings by stepping in their shoes for a short while. We enacted a role play of a team of governors, with Kartikey being the governor and other team members as deputy governors for the presentation.”

We, once again, would like to congratulate the team for this huge success and wish them all the very best for their future endeavours.

Written by : Avisha Gaur and Akash Bhardwaj