Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Social & Economic Progress; Former Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission of India
Montek Singh Ahluwalia was most recently Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India, a Cabinet-level position, which he held from July 2004 till May 2014. He has been a key figure in India’s economic reforms since the mid-1980s. Before joining the Government of India Mr. Ahluwalia held various positions in the World Bank, including Chief of the Income Distribution Division. From 1979 to 2001 he served the Government of India as Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Finance, after which he held a series of positions including Special Secretary to the Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Commerce Secretary, Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, Finance Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Member of the Planning Commission and Member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister. In 2001, Mr. Ahluwalia was appointed the first Director of the newly created Independent Evaluation Office of the International Monetary Fund, a position he held for three years resigning from it to return to India to become Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. Mr. Ahluwalia received a BA (Hons) degree from St. Stephens College, Delhi University. He went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and received an M.A. and an M.Phil degree in Economics from Oxford University. He has received several honorary doctorates, including the Doctor of Civil Law (Honoris Causa) from Oxford University. He has written on various aspects of development economics, including Indian economic policy, and his articles have been published in a number of professional international journals and also in books. He co-authored Re-distribution with Growth: An Approach to Policy (1975). In 2011, he was awarded the prestigious Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honour, by the President of India for his outstanding contribution to economic policy and public service. In 2019 he published Backstage: The story of India’s high growth years.
Dr Ila Patnaik, Chief Economist, Aditya Birla Group
Dr Ila Patnaik is the Chief Economist at the Aditya Birla Group, a global conglomerate headquartered in Mumbai. Prior to this, she served as a professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi. Other recent, former positions include Principal Economic Advisor to the Government of India, Non-Resident Senior Associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and regular columnist at the Indian Express and The Print. She holds a BA (Economics) from Delhi University, an MA (Economics) from Jawaharlal Nehru University, and a Ph.D.(Economics) from the University of Surrey. Her research interests include international macroeconomics, finance and emerging economy business cycles. Her research on these topics has been published in scholarly journals such as the Journal of International Money and Finance, the World Bank Economic Review, International Finance, and in collected volumes. She has also been a regular columnist and authored a book.
Dr Indira Rajaraman, Former Member Of The Thirteenth Finance Commission
Prof. Indira Rajaraman holds a PhD in Economics (Jan 1974) from Cornell University. She was on the Economics faculty at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore for eighteen years (Feb 1976 to April 1994), and subsequently RBI Chair Professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, Delhi (April 1994 to August 2007), from where she retired at the age of 60. Thereafter, she was Member of the 13th Finance Commission (2007-2009); and Member for a four-year term (2011-15) of the Central Board of Directors of RBI. She has over 70 research publications in international and national journals and edited volumes and writes regularly in the financial press. She is a member of the Council of Management of the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore since September 2019; of the Executive Advisory Board of the Gokula Education Foundation, Bangalore since September 2020; and an external member of the Faculty of Applied Social Sciences and Humanities, Delhi University since 2006. She was a member of the External Peer Review Committee of IIT Gandhinagar (2014), and served as Visitor’s Nominee and External Expert for faculty selection in Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT Kanpur (2007-14).
She was a member of several official committees that shaped the process of financial and fiscal reform over the last three decades, and was on the Advisory Council of the Fifteenth Finance Commission. She is on the Advisory Board of the World Resources Institute, India. She is presently co-chair of the Human Ethics Committee of the National Brain Research Institute, Manesar, Haryana. She is an Independent Director on the Board of Tata Sikorsky Aerospace Limited; and was a Member of the Board of Governors of the General Insurance Corporation for a four-year term (1997-2001).
Mr A K Bhattacharya, Distinguished Fellow, Ananta Centre, Editorial Director, Business Standard
AK A.K Bhattacharya is an economic journalist. He has served as the Editor of Business Standard and is currently its Editorial Director. Earlier, he was the Editor of The Pioneer and worked for The Financial Express and The Economic Times in different leadership roles. For many years, he has been writing a column, Raisina Hill, which appears in Business Standard and comments on government affairs, development issues and the economy. He won the Shriram Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Financial Journalism in 2017. He is the author of The Rise of Goliath: Twelve Disruptions That Changed India, published by Penguin in July 2019. His upcoming book, due later in 2021 from Penguin, captures the story of India’s finance ministers.