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In contention: Jagdish Bhagwati

india Updated: Oct 09, 2006 21:17 IST
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Jagdish Bhagwati, is currently University Professor, Economics and Law, at Columbia University and Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Born in India in 1934, Bhagwati attended Cambridge University where he graduated in 1956 with a first in Economics Tripos.  He then studied at MIT and Oxford, returning to India in 1961 as Professor of Economics at the Indian Statistical Institute, and then as Professor of International Trade at the Delhi School of Economics. 

Once again, he returned to MIT in 1968, leaving it twelve years later as the Ford International Professor of Economics to join Columbia.

Until 2001, he was Arthur Lehman Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science at Columbia.  Professor Bhagwati has served as Economic Policy Advisor to the Director-General, GATT (1991-1993), as Special Adviser to the UN on Globalization (2001) and as an External Adviser to the WTO.

He also recently served as a member of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's Advisory Group on the NEPAD process in Africa, and was a member of the Eminent Persons Group, chaired by President Cardoso, on the Future on UNCTAD.

Professor Bhagwati has published more than three hundred articles and fifty volumes. He is regarded as one of the foremost international trade theorists of his generation. Uniquely, as many as six festschrift conferences have been organized by students and fellow economists to celebrate his scholarly and policy achievements over his lifetime, the latest three on his 70th birthday.

Five volumes of his collected scientific essays have been published by MIT Press to date.  His early books,  India: Planning for Industrialization (with Padma Desai, 1970) and India (with T.N. Srinivasan, 1975) are acknowledged to have provided the intellectual case for the economic reforms now underway in India.  His recent book, India in Transition: Freeing the Economy, was published in 1993 by Clarendon Press, Oxford.  His books have been translated into 16 languages.  

Professor Bhagwati has also written frequently for the world's leading newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and The New York Times, and magazines such as Foreign Affairs, The Times Literary Supplement and The Economist. His writings on public policy have been published by MIT Press in two successive volumes, both reviewed extensively worldwide.

He was recently chosen as one of 100 of the world's most influential policy intellectuals by Prospect, England's leading magazine, and Foreign Policy (US). He has been extensively profiled, including in The New York Times, The Chronicle for Higher Education, and Finance & Development. He has appeared on television shows such as BBC, MacNeil Lehrer News Hour, The Charlie Rose Show, Bloomberg and C-Span.

Professor Bhagwati has delivered many prestigious lectures, among them the Frank Graham Lecture at Princeton , the Bertil Ohlin Lectures at the Stockholm School of Economics, the Harry Johnson Lecture in London, the Eyskens Lectures in Belgium, the Radhakrishnan Lectures in Oxford, and the Prebisch Lecture at UNCTAD IX in Johannesburg. He has debated the leading critics of globalization today, including Ralph Nader and Naomi Klein, and lectured in defense of globalization in numerous campuses and other public appearances worldwide. 

He is a Director of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was also the advisor to Manmohan Singh, then India 's Finance Minister, now the Prime Minister, on India 's economic reforms. 

Bhagwati works with several NGOs in the US and India.  He is on the Academic Advisory Board of Human Rights Watch (Asia) and was a member of the Advisory Board of the Council on Economic Priorities Accreditation Agency (which has created the SA 8000 Standard for Corporate Social Accountability). He was chosen as the first recipient of the Asian NGOs' Award, the Suh Sang Don Award. 

Professor Bhagwati founded in 1971 the Journal of International Economics, the premier journal in the field today, and Economics & Politics in 1989. 

Professor Bhagwati is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and has been elected a member of the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He was a Vice President, and has been elected Distinguished Fellow, of the American Economic Association.  He holds honorary degrees from several universities, including, Erasmus (Netherlands) and Sussex (UK).  Among the awards he has received are the Mahalanobis Memorial Medal ( India ), the Bernhard Harms Prize (Germany), the Kenan Prize (USA), the John R. Commons Award (USA), the Freedom Prize (Switzerland), and the Frank E. Seidman Distinguished Award in Political Economy (USA).

He is married to Padma Desai, the Gladys and Ronald Harriman Professor of Comparative Economic Systems at Columbia University and a scholar of Russian and other former socialist countries' transition problems. They have one daughter, Anuradha Kristina, a graduate in English Literature at Yale University. 

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