Noted economist, Padma Bhushan awardee Isher Judge Ahluwalia dies
Eminent economist Isher Judge Ahluwalia (74), who has served as the chairperson of Delhi based think-tank Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), died on Saturday. She was suffering from brain cancer.
Ahluwalia is survived by her husband Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former deputy chairman of the Planning Commission and their two sons. Her memoir “Breaking Through”, a testament of a career that broke many glass ceilings, was recently published.
She was a professor at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), and then director, and later chairperson, of ICRIER. Over the last decade and a half, she has built ICRIER into a leading global think tank.
Yamini Aiyar, who is currently heading CPR, tweeted: “She was the first female scholar at CPR in the 1980s and paved the path for generations of us.”
Ahluwalia has served as Chair of the Board of the International Food Policy Research Institute and the Chair of the High-Powered Committee on Urban Infrastructure Services set up by the Centre in 2008.
She is a graduate of Presidency College and Delhi School of Economics, and received her PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr Ahluwalia is also a recipient of the Padma Bhushan.
BJP’s Rajya Sabha member Jyotiraditya Scindia tweeted: “Saddened by the passing away of Dr Isher Ahluwalia. We have lost a great mind today. Her seminal work in the fields of urban development and macro-economic reforms, and her life journey are an inspiration to many. Heartfelt condolences to Montek ji & the family.”
Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram tweeted: “Deeply saddened and shaken by the passing away of Dr Isher Ahluwalia, a close friend for nearly 25 years. She was a distinguished economist whose life, work and contribution to economics are beautifully captured in her recently published autobiography, a must read for every student of economics.”