Tvm: Eminent economist and a former Chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council, Prof. Suresh D Tendulkar passed away on June 21 in Pune. He was also a member of the Central Board of Directors of the RBI. Known for his extensive work on poverty, he was Professor of Economics at the Delhi School of Economics from 1978 to 2004. He was a member of the PM’s Economic Advisory Council from 2004 to 2008 and later, the Chairman from 2008 to 2009.
I am taking this opportunity to point out the contribution of Dr. Tendulkar to the growth of the Indian economy. He has undertaken extensive research in the dynamics of the Indian economy. He will be remembered for his research work on the 1991 crises that hit our economy and his follow up on research on the post liberalisation of the India.
I had the opportunity to interact with Dr. Tendulkar while I was working with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Bangalore. I was a panel member of CII and used to work closely with him. Dr. Tendulkar, who was soft spoken, shy of the lime light and self effacing, not only taught his students the foundation of economics but also the value system of precision and rationale thinking.
Dr. Tendulkar was one of the earlier supporters of the Government’s decision to go for the liberalisation of the Indian economy. He believed in the process and felt that this would lead to market expansion and freeing the various kinds of controls and barriers will help in the Indian economy from integrating with the global one. He authored many books in support of economic liberalisation and globalisation. Noticeable among them were ‘Reintegrating India with the Global economy’ and ‘Understanding Reforms’.
In 2009 Dr. Tendulkar headed a committee which came out with a method to calculate poverty in the country. The normal method of calculating poverty in India was by measuring the calorie intake in India. But the new method adopted by him also included spending on Food, Education and Health. As per the estimate based on the new Tendulkar model, 37.5 % of the population was under the poverty line compared to the Government of India’s 27.5%.
Dr. Tendulkar contributed to the Disinvestment process of Public Sector Enterprises ( PSE’s) in the country as part of the first Disinvestment committee in 1996 which was set up to advice the government on the disinvestment process. He has studied in depth the post economic reforms in India especially the growth patterns after two decades of reforms. He has done a statistical analysis of the growth story in the country. The Planning Commission of India has often taken his advice on policy matters pertaining to economic growth policies.
Dr. Tendulkar was simple in all the demeanours. His love for scooters is worth mentioning and h could be called an old and committed economist. India has lost one of those thought provoking economist and those who know him will miss him greatly.
About the Author
Binu Sankar is the Chief Executive Officer of GTech, the Group of Technology Companies in Kerala since March 2008. GTech is a strategic grouping of IT companies operating out the Government owned IT Parks in Kerala.
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