ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Surjit Singh: A Committed Development Economist

Rooted in development theory and grass-roots realities, Surjit Singh's understanding of development economics was holistic. It also aid reat attention to the plight of the marginalised. A warm and genuine person, he lived a humble life, and his agenda always had the deprived at the top.

The year 2013 was not kind to many of us. In its last month, it snatched away Surjit Singh, one of India’s committed development economists and institution builders. Surjit was serving as director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Jaipur; honorary secretary of the Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), which he held for two continuous terms; and honorary director of the Institute of Rajasthan Studies, Jaipur at the time of his untimely end in the early hours of 4 December 2013. He had a brilliant academic record with a gold medal in MSc Honours in Economics from the Punjab School of Economics, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. After earning his PhD from Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, through the Sardar Patel Institute of Economic and Social Research, Ahmedabad, he served the IDS for most of his academic life (25 years) and grew with it. He was Bank of India chair professor and later its director for more than one term. He was a visiting fellow at IDS, Sussex; NASS, Beijing; and a Shastri Indo-Canadian fellow at Carleton University, Ottawa. The Centre for Microfinance Research at the IDS was set up during his tenure, which broadened the domain of research and external interaction. ­Besides, other measures like better ­resource mobilisation, more broad-based faculty resources, and the building of an impressive guest house at the campus were also undertaken by Surjit. All of us knew Surjit for many years and were o­ften together at various conferences and meetings both outside and hosted by him at IDS, besides being close friends academically and ideologically.

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