Impact of rupee depreciation on Indian academia..

A nice article in BS on the issue.

Rupee depreciation has hit libraries in several India’s instis really hard. Whatever foreign journals/books librairies import, are going to get costlier:

Sustained weakness in Rupee has posed a challenge before the country’s academic institutions. With US dollar hovering around Rs 60, the cost of foreign books and journals are feared to escalate.

The recent surge in the Indian rupee has prompted libraries of many premiere institutes and universities to either reconsider their orders for foreign books and journals or look for a local alternate.

This, according to academic experts, has raised concerns about the quality of academic output from the institutions.

Online journals remain an option but still some instis do get foreign journals:

Though most libraries in the country are associated with the University Grants Commission (UGC) for online journals, many of them still remain vulnerable to currency fluctuations due to their dependence on international periodicals and books.

One of the many such cases is the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B), which is mulling to cut down on number of books being ordered from outside the country.

“Every year we order about 2000-2500 such books. However, the rupee depreciation is costing us over 10% more for ordering these books. Since we usually order throughout the year, this academic year we may have to reduce the order,” said a source at the institute’s library on condition of anonymity.

Some instis have taken a contigency fund approach:

Considering the frequent fluctuations in currency rates, Nirma University has evolved a model to keep a margin fund to safeguard against the rupee slide.

“Since 2008 we have been keeping provision for currency fluctuation and inflation. So, even if the prices go up for journals or books, we don’t deny to order that,” said Monita Shastri, chief librarian, Nirma University.

In each crisis lies an opportunity:

“Indian institutes are vulnerable to currency fluctuations. Journal may not have much impact, but foreign book purchases will get adversely affected due to currency depreciation,” said Anil Gupta, faculty at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

However, Gupta also offers a lesson in this. “This is a golden opportunity for local publishers and authors to cater to the Indian market. They should turn this crisis into an opportunity for them. Authors will have an incentive to write for Indian market as foreign books get costlier,” Gupta, who is also a founder of National Innovation Foundation (NIF).

Nice and different example on rupee depreciation..

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