Speakers

Dr. A. K. Shiva Kumar is a development economist and evaluator, working on issues related to Human Development, Poverty, Health, Nutrition, Basic Education, and the Rights of Women and Children. He is presently Senior Consultant and Policy Advisor to UNICEF India and, until recently, was the Director of the International Centre for Human Development in New Delhi. He is a Visiting Professor at the Ashoka University, Indian School of Business and the Kennedy School of Governance at the Harvard University, USA.


Alpa Shah is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, LSE where she directs the Programme of Research on Inequality and Poverty. Shah read Geography at Cambridge, trained in Anthropology at the LSE, taught anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London for eight years until she returned to the London School of Economics.

Shah’s research and writing focuses on poor and marginalised people in India and Nepal, in particular Adivasis, Dalits and Janajatis. She explores the processes of inequality people get caught in and the various ways in which they try to subvert them. She has lived for several years as a social anthropologist among the Adivasi communities she writes about, here in rural Jharkhand. Shah is the author of In the Shadows of the State: Indigenous Politics, Environmentalism and Insurgency in Jharkhand, India. She has also published more than twenty-five essays and journal articles, and has edited seven volumes on issues ranging from affirmative action, agrarian change, revolution in India and Nepal, emancipatory politics, the underbelly of the Indian boom, and Adivasi and Dalit political pathways.


Dr. Arvind Panagariya is currently Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog. In the past, he has been Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy at the Columbia University and Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland at College Park. He has worked in various capacities at the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Dr. Panagariya is a leading international trade theorist of his generation. His numerous policy writings on the benefits of trade liberalization, superiority of multilateral over preferential trade liberalization, and the folly of including non-trade issues such as intellectual property rights and labor standards into the World Trade Organization have been extremely influential.


Dr. Arvind Subramanian is currently the Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India. He is on leave for public service from his position as the Dennis Weatherstone Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, USA. He also served as Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development. He was earlier an Assistant Director in the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund. He served at the GATT (1988–92) during the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations and taught at the Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government (1999–2000) and at Johns Hopkins’ School for Advanced International Studies (2008–10). He has written on growth, trade, development, institutions, aid, oil, India, Africa, and the World Trade Organization. He has published widely in academic and other journals. Foreign Policy magazine named him as one of the world’s top 100 global thinkers in 2011.


Ashis Nandy has worked for more than thirty-five years on two diametrically opposite domains of social existence — human potentialities and human destructiveness. It is the oscillation between these two domains that defines his work. Even in his ongoing study of genocides in South Asia, the emphasis is on the resistance offered by ordinary people to organised machine violence and ethno-nationalism. This has brought him close to social movements and non-state political actors grappling with issues of peace, human rights, inter-civilizational dialogue, environment, and cultural survival. Nandy has been trying hard during the last so many decades to de-professionalize himself and to allow his work to be contaminated by the categories, worldviews and forms of social criticism that could be built upon vernacular subjectivities. Nandy is a Honorary Senior Fellow of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi, and Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Postcolonial Studies, Melbourne. In 2007, he received the Grand Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes and, in 2008, he was chosen as one of the top 100 intellectuals of the world by the magazine Foreign Policy and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.


Ashutosh Varshney is Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences at Brown University, where he also directs the Brown-India Initiative. Previously, he taught at Harvard and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His books include Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India; Democracy, Development and the Countryside; Urban-Rural Struggles in India; India in the Era of Economic Reforms; Midnight’s Diaspora; Collective Violence in Indonesia; and Battles Half Won: India’s Improbable Democracy. His academic articles have appeared in the leading journals of political science and development. His honours include the Guggenheim, Carnegie, Luebbert and Lerner awards. He is a contributing editor for The Indian Express and his guest columns have appeared in many other newspapers, including the Financial Times. He served on the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s Task Force on Millennium Development Goals and has also served as advisor to the World Bank and United Nations Development Program (UNDP).


Dr. Binayak Sen is currently a Research Director of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), the premier public think-tank of the country. He did his MA in Economics from the Moscow State University and his Ph. D. in Economics from the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He has been a Senior Economist in the South Asia Region of the World Bank as a regular staff member and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Research Administration Department of the World Bank. He has served as a consultant for the Asian Development Bank, UN-ESCAP, UNDP and WHO. Dr. Sen also loves teaching. He has taught economic development courses at the North South University, BRAC University, Dhaka University and National University in the past two decades. His major areas of research include inclusive development, chronic poverty, income inequality, middle class, human development, labor market, social protection, economic history, and political economy.


Christopher V Hill is a Professor of History at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He received his Ph D from the University of Virginia in 1987. He has published widely on the environmental history of Bihar and Odisha, and his publications include River of Sorrow: Environment and Social Control in Riparian North India, 1770-1996 and South Asia: An Environmental History.

He has received a number of prizes and fellowships for his work, including the Aldo Leopold Award from the American Society of Environmental History, and a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship.


Dr. Nachane is currently Chancellor of Manipur University, Imphal, and Professor Emeritus at Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR). He was formerly a Member of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (2012-14). He was also Director-cum-Vice Chancellor of the IGIDR (2007-2010), Senior Professor, IGIDR (2003-2007) and Director, Department of Economics, University of Mumbai (1993-99).

Most of Dr. Nachane’s active career has been spent at the Department of Economics, University of Mumbai, from which he retired in 2003 as Professor of Quantitative Economics. He was also Director of the Department for a six year period from 1993 to 1999. Dr. Nachane’s contributions in Econometrics (especially time series analysis) are too well known to be recounted in detail here. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the subject, the Indian Econometric society elected him as its President in 2003. But apart from Econometrics, he has also actively researched in the areas of economic methodology, macro-economics, money, banking and finance and history of economic thought. Dr. Nachane is also currently Editor-in-Chief of the TIES Journal of Quantitative Economics as well as a Co-editor of Money & Finance in Emerging Market Economies (Francis & Taylor). Dr. Nachane has served for a number of years on the editorial Advisory Boards of Regional Journal of Social Sciences, Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, Margin, Journal of Interdisciplianry Economics, Artha -Vijnan, etc. He is an Elected Member, Academy of Sciences, New York, USA and  has been associated with several important committees of which special mention must be made of the RBI Technical Advisory Committee on Monetary Policy on which he has served from 2005-2011 and the RBI Technical Advisory Committee on Inflation Expectations (from 2007-2011).

He has also been associated with several important Financial institutions such as  SBI-DFHI (currently Board Member) , DICGCI (Board Member 2006-2008),  NSE (Board Member 1998-2000) , BSE (Council Member 2008-2010) CCIL (Member, Research Advisory Committee) etc. He has been visiting Professor at several foreign universities, including most notably the University of Manchester (U.K.), the University of British Columbia (Canada), the University of Magdeburg (Germany) and the European University Institute (Italy). He has nearly 100 articles in refereed journals to his credit and has authored/co-edited about 10 books.


Dipak Gyawali is a hydroelectric power engineer (Moscow Energy Institute), political economist (Energy and Resources Group, University of California at Berkeley), and academician of the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, as well as chairman of Nepal Water Conservation Foundation. A former minister of Water Resources in Nepal, who introduced community electricity giving control over distribution to the rural consumers, he conducts interdisciplinary research at the interface of technology and society, primarily on water, energy, natural resources as well as ethics and philosophy, basically from the perspectives of cultural theory of plural rationalities. Currently, he is on the advisory committee of UNESCO’s World Water Assessment Program, IDS Sussex STEPs Center, and in Nepal he was the founding chairman of a grass root NGO dedicated to the task of poverty alleviation, the Rural Self-Reliance Development Center (Swabalamban).


Dr. Faujdar Ram is presently the Director of the International Institute for Population Studies (IIPS), Mumbai. Under the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship programme, he has done his Post-Doctoral research at the Ohio State University, USA. He spent nearly whole of his career at IIPS, working on a number of dimensions of the demographic trends in India. He has published more than 80 research articles in reputed journals. He is a member of a number of national and international scientific societies and is the current President of the Indian Association for the Study of Population (IASP)


Emeritus Professor of International Development and Fellow, Academy of Social Sciences, UK, Geoff Wood is also Visiting Professor at the Centre of Development Studies, University of Bath. He has conducted extensive research on aspects of poverty, governance and civil society in North India, Bangladesh and Pakistan over three decades, with additional work in Nepal, Afghanistan, Thailand, Venezuela and Peru. His applied work has included policy analysis and action-research with governments, NGOs and international agencies. He is currently focussed upon insecurity, welfare regimes, well-being and strategies of de-clientelisation, governance and civil society, and the characteristics of extreme poverty.


James Manor is the Emeka Anyaoku Professor Emeritus of Commonwealth Studies in the School of Advanced Study, University of London.  He has previously taught at Yale, Harvard and Leicester Universities, at the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex, and at the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.  His most recent books, both forthcoming in 2015 from Orient BlackSwan, are Politics and State-Society Relations in India: Collected Writings, and with Rob Jenkins,Politics and the Right to Work: The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.


Jean-Joseph BOILLOT is an Advisor to the CEPII Business Club on large emerging economies like India and China. It has expanded its scope to Africa since his return to Paris in 2006. He lectures at numerous institutions and is a recognized expert with many public institutions and private businesses.

He is co-Chairman of the Euro-India Economic & Business Group (EIEBG), member of the editorial committee of Alternatives Economiques, of the think-tank Confrontation Europe, and Scientific advisor at ISEG. Jean-Joseph BOILLOT is Professeur of Social Sciences and hold a PhD in Economics. He worked on Asia as an economist with the CEPII during the 1980-90s. Then he joined as an economic advisor the French ministry of finances for the Emerging countries: Central Europe, Russia, Asia and India.


Kaivan Munshi is Frank Ramsey Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge. His research career has been devoted to the analysis of communities and their interaction with economic activity. His recent work has examined the effect of community networks on education, health, and mobility, which are key determinants of growth and development. Munshi’s research has been published in the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, and the Review of Economic Studies. He is currently co-editor of the Journal of Development Economics.

Professor Munshi’s long-term research program examines the multifaceted role played by informal community institutions in the development process. The first stage in this research was devoted to providing credible empirical evidence that social norms and community-based networks have large effects on individual decisions and outcomes in developing economies. The second stage studied how networks can support or restrict the mobility of their members, depending on the context, with important consequences for development. Much of this work is based in India, where the caste is a natural social unit around which networks serving different economic functions (such as providing jobs and credit for their members) can be organized.

Professor Munshi’s current research expands this program in four directions. One project will expand the scope of caste networks from economic activity to community health. A second project will examine networks in a new context, tracing the evolution of African-American communities from Emancipation through the twentieth century. A third project will study the assimilation of South Asian immigrants in the United Kingdom over multiple generations. And a fourth project will explore the community origins of industrial entrepreneurship in India and China.


Lakshmi Iyer is an Associate Professor at Harvard Business School. Her primary research fields are political economy and development economics, with a special emphasis on property rights and the distribution of political power within societies. Her research has examined many dimensions of the distribution of political power within emerging market countries, including the legacy of colonial rule, the division of authority between politicians and bureaucrats, and the determinants of conflict. She is currently working on several projects related to the determinants and consequences of women’s political representation. She has also studied historical and current property rights institutions in several emerging markets including India, Vietnam, China and the Philippines. Her work has been published in leading academic journals in economics. She has also authored numerous case studies on institutions, macroeconomics and economic policy. Lakshmi Iyer holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from the Indian Statistical Institute, and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


Presently the honourable Vice-President of India, Shri Md. Hamid Ansari was earlier a distinguished diplomat who joined the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in 1961. During his long diplomatic career, he has served as country’s Ambassador in a number of countries, including UAE, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Australia. He is indeed one of the authorities on West Asian Politics. He was also once the country’s Permanent Representative to the UN. Later, Shri Ansari has served many academic institutions — Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Milia Islamia, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Observer Research Foundation. Apart from writing several academic papers and newspaper articles on West Asian Politics, he has also authored two books and edited another one, the last one being ‘Testing Questions : Exploring Discontents in Contemporary India’. In 1984, he was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India.


Dr. Navin Rustagi is a Big Data scientist at the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine. He works  in the areas of  Population Genetics and Bioinformatics,  with special focus  on designing algorithms for  processing extremely large sequencing datasets. His recent work on populations from south India illuminates the rich genomic diversity in the Indian subcontinent. He played an integral part in designing and implementing cloud AWS-based algorithms for discovering genetic markers for premier longitudinal studies related to heart diseases and Ageing in the USA. He completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of New Mexico, USA and his undergraduate degree in pure mathematics from the Chennai Mathematical Institute in India.


Peter Robb is Professor Emeritus and formerly Professor of the History of India, Chair of the Centre of South Asian Studies, Head of the Department of History and Pro-Director at SOAS (University of London). He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow, Council-member and former president of the Royal Asiatic Society. He is currently working on the late 19th-century, a book tentatively called The British and Bihar: Development in a Colonial Society. His 10 edited or co-edited volumes cover Indo-British relations, institutions, rural South Asia, local agrarian societies, protest and identity, ideologies, race, Dalit movements and labour, agriculture and development. Of his nine monographs, three are about early Calcutta and four wholly or partly on the 19th - and 20th-century Bihar.


Pranab Bardhan is Professor of Graduate School at the Department of Economics, University of California at Berkeley. He was educated at Presidency College, Kolkata and Cambridge University, England. He had been at the faculty of MIT, Indian Statistical Institute and Delhi School of Economics before joining Berkeley. He has been Visiting Professor/Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, and London School of Economics. He held the Distinguished Fulbright Siena Chair at the University of Siena, Italy in 2008-9, and was the BP Centennial Professor at London School of Economics for 2010 and 2011.

He has done theoretical and field studies research on rural institutions in poor countries, on political economy of development policies, and on international trade. A part of his work is in the interdisciplinary area of economics, political science, and social anthropology. He was Chief Editor of the Journal of Development Economics for 1985-2003. He was the co-chair of the MacArthur Foundation-funded Network on the Effects of Inequality on Economic Performance for 1996-2007.

He is the author of 14 books and editor of 12 other books, and author of more than 150 journal articles. His last two books are: Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay: Assessing the Economic Rise of China and India (2013), and Globalization , Democracy, and Corruption: an Indian Perspective (2015).


Dr. Pronab Sen is the Country Director for the IGC’s India Central Programme and, until early 2016, he was the Chairman of Indian Statistical Commission. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the Johns Hopkins University, specialising in open-economy macroeconomic systems, international economics and public finance and his M.B.A. (1974) and M.A. in Economics (1975) from the George Washington University, USA. Previously, he was the Principal Adviser, Power and Energy, at the Government of India’s Planning Commission. He also had positions as the first Chief Statistician of India, acting as the functional and technical Head of the country’s national statistical system, as well as Secretary, Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (2007-10). As a representative of the Planning Commission, he was the principal author and coordinator of Mid-term Appraisal of the Eighth Five Year Plan, Ninth Five Year Plan, Mid-term Appraisal of the Ninth Five Year Plan, Tenth Five Year Plan, and the Mid-term Appraisal of the Tenth Five Year Plan.


Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president and chief executive of the Centre for Policy Research, is a political scientist who has taught at Harvard University, JNU and the New York University School of Law. His areas of research include political theory, constitutional law, society and politics in India, governance and political economy and international affairs. He has served on many central government committees, including India’s National Security Advisory Board, the Prime Minister of India’s National Knowledge Commission and a Supreme Court-appointed committee on elections in Indian universities. Mehta is a prolific writer and an editorial consultant to The Indian Express and his columns have appeared in a number of reputed dailies. He is also on the editorial boards of many academic journals, including the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Democracy and India and Global Affairs. Mehta holds a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford and a PhD in politics from Princeton.


Dr. Rathin Roy is Director of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), New Delhi. With postings in London, New York, Kathmandu, Brasilia and Bangkok, he has worked as an Economic Diplomat and Policy Advisor with UNDP, focusing on emerging economies. He has taught at the Universities of Manchester and London and served as Economic Adviser with the Thirteenth Finance Commission. Dr. Roy is a Member of India Advisory Committee on United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Meta Council on Inclusive Growth, World Economic Forum (Geneva) and Poverty Task Force of the Government of India. Dr. Roy holds a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Cambridge.


Dr. Sabina Alkire directs the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), a research centre within the Department of International Development, University of Oxford. She is also the Oliver T. Carr Professor and Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the George Washington University. Her research interests and publications include multidimensional poverty measurement and analysis, welfare economics, the capability approach, measurement of freedoms and human development. She holds a D.Phil. in Economics from the University of Oxford.


Former ICSSR National Fellow and retired Professor, Madras Institute of Development Studies, S Subramanian Independent Volunteer on a rural development project in Jawaja, Rajasthan. The project was sponsored by the ICSSR and executed by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He has also been a Consultant with Project Appraisal Division, Planning Commission and Bureau of Industrial Costs and Prices, Government of India.


Subrata K. Mitra is Director, Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), and Visiting Research Professor, NUS. He moved from Heidelberg, Germany, where he was Head of the Department of Political Science at the South Asia Institute for the past 20 years. Subrata Mitra holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Rochester, New York. His professional career spans India (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi), France (Maison des Sciences de l’Hommes, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris), the United Kingdom (the Universities of Hull and Nottingham), the United States (University of California, Berkeley) and Germany (Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg). He has also held visiting positions in Tsinghua University, Beijing, China and the Radhakrishnan Chair, Central University of Hyderabad. He has published extensively in various journals.


Dr. TCA Anant is currently the Chief Statistician of India and Secretary, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. Earlier, he had taught at the Delhi School of Economics for more than two decades and was also Member-Secretary of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi. He has also been a member of a number of expert committees of the Government of India. Professor Anant has served in the Academic Council or Boards of a number of universities and has been a consultant to many international organisations. His areas of interest is labour, industry and economic theory, on which he has published a number of papers and books.