Agile is the central theme of the Economic Survey for Fiscal Year 2021-22. The dictionary defines ‘Agile System’ as one that is designed to make it easy to make changes as they are needed.

Barbell Strategy

Further explaining this, Principal Economic Advisor Sanjeev Sanyal, who led the team that prepared Economic Survey, says that India’s response to the pandemic has been unique and it consists of “Barbell Strategy, Safety Nets & the Agile Framework.” According to him, ‘Barbell strategy’ means the framework for dealing with uncertain evolving situations, and it combines two disparate legs in order to deal with an unpredictable future. Barbell was deployed for the Covid response by combining safety-nets for vulnerable sections on one hand while responding iteratively based on Bayesian-updating of information on the other.

“This iterative approach is known as the ‘Agile’ framework. A key enabler of this flexible, iterative Agile approach is the use of High Frequency Indicators (HFIs),” he added while highlighting swings in data related with Railways & Ports Freight, Air Freight, Domestic Air Passenger Traffic, Rail Passenger Traffic beside others.

Talking about the supply side Barbell, he listed deregulation of sectors such as space, drones, geospatial mapping, IT-BPO, trade finance factoring, etc, process reforms in Government procurement and telecommunications sector, privatisation and Asset Monetisation and resolving legacy issues such as retrospective tax under ‘flexibility and innovation’. This was the first disparate leg, while the second one, titled ‘Improving Resilience’ included Atmanirbhar Bharat and Production Linked Incentives etc.