Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Montek Singh Ahluwalia has been a key figure in India’s economic reform and modernization. He has served in several senior positions in the Government of India, most recently as Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission from 2004 to 2014 in the UPA government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Before that he was Special secretary to the Prime Minister, Commerce Secretary and Secretary in the Finance Ministry from 1991 to 1998 under three different governments. In 2001, he was elected by the IMF Board to be the first Director of the newly created Independent Evaluation Office. He was educated at St. Stephen’s College in Delhi and then went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar studying at Magdalen College, where he obtained an MA, and an M Phil at St Antony’s College. He is an honorary fellow of Magdalen College. In 2011, the President of India awarded him the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour, for exceptional and distinguished service. He has written extensively on development and economic reforms in professional journals. In February 2020, he published Backstage: The Story Behind India’s High Growth Years (Rupa Publications), in which he gives his account of how economic policies changed in India, transforming the country from a highly controlled economy to one that is much more open and integrated with the rest of the world.

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