A Bold Economist
In a world where liberalization is viewed suspiciously, investments are made cautiously and fearfully, and economic chaos is rampant, the world needs visionaries like him.
Montek Singh Ahluwalia; Image Source: Public Domain

Born on 24th November 1943

The world is in dire need of good economists. God knows how well a country can progress if its economists have the freedom to propose reforms and the government is able-minded enough to recognize and implement them.

30 years ago, there was a new surge of energy in the Indian economy due to the reforms suggested by Dr. Manmohan Singh and PV Narasimha Rao. When India was still grappling with the disasters of a closed economy, they laid the foundation for the development of a new economy and the revival of business spirit in India.

Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission was one of the members of the committee that designed these reforms.

A stellar academician since the beginning, Montek Singh Ahluwalia completed his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from St. Stephen's. He then became a Rhodes Scholar and completed his M.A in philosophies, politics, and economics from the Magdalen College, Oxford University. Later, he completed his MPhil at St. Anthony's College, Oxford.

He joined the World Bank in 1968, and at the age of 28, he was made the 'Division Chief'- in charge of the Income Distribution Division in the World Bank's Development Research Centre.

Upon his return to India in 1979, he was appointed as the Economic Adviser in the Ministry of Finance. He remains one of the best economists of India.

Montek Singh Ahluwalia boldly voiced his support for the 1991 reforms in the Indian economy. Although he knew that the reforms wouldn't garner much support, this step was necessary to drive India out of its pit of despair.

Ahluwalia has understood the challenges of the Indian economy better than the most and has been an able adviser in every office he's held.

In an interview, Ahluwalia revealed that Yashwant Sinha accused the Narasimha-Singh duo of selling out the 'Family gold'. However, Montek Singh mentions that India was already facing a crisis, to have defaulted on payments would be worse. While Devaluation was an unpopular move back then, as an Economist, Ahluwalia understood it's a necessity.

As he was the Commerce Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce at that time, he lobbied extensively for trade reforms.

Most economists and parliamentarians were not in favor of "liberalization of imports" when there was a Balance of payments stress. Ahluwalia and his team tried to convince others of the benefits of liberalization.
Since the wise understand the wise, Manmohan Singh backed Ahluwalia on his Idea. Upon seeing the two most qualified economists in the country agreeing on a topic, the Scholar Prime Minister of India immediately approved of the reforms.

Montek Singh Ahluwalia has many published works accredited to him. He's written in journals, published books and he even wrote a series that was published in the World Bank Journals.

His recent book, Backstage: The Story Behind India’s High Growth Years, is a chronicle of his reflections of personal, social, political life, and the economic state of affairs. The book is instrumental in helping a person understand Ahluwalia's views on education, politics, economics, rural development, and energy.

One of the few who are brave enough to say that the RBI needs to be more consumer-friendly, and private investments are vital towards positively stirring the economy, Montek Singh Ahluwalia remains India's finest economist to date.

A well-educated man, who understands the ground realities of society, the demands of the market, and realizes the necessity to implement bold and thoughtful reforms, Montek Singh Ahluwalia is an inspiration to every conscientious individual.

Devanshee Author
I don't have any favourites, I just happen to like some people and things a little more than everyone and everything else. I daydream as much as I panic (something that happens a lot). I'm very nice, extremely amazing, and I have a lot of patience, but If you ever tell me that you think feminism is bullshit, rajma-chawal is overrated, climate change is not worrying, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are amazing, not eating sugary food is worth it, and boldly say "Yaar history padhke kya hi karoge"- I'll smack your face to guatemala. Other than that, i'm the nicest person you'll ever meet :)

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