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Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Montek Singh Ahluwalia
Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission
In office
6 July 2004 – 26 May 2014
Preceded by K.C. Pant
Personal details
Born (1943-11-24) 24 November 1943
New Delhi British India
Spouse(s) Isher Judge Ahluwalia
Alma mater University of Delhi (B.A.)
Magdalen College, Oxford
(M.A.) & St. Antony's College, Oxford (M.Phil.)
Occupation Economist
Civil servant
Religion Sikhism

Montek Singh Ahluwalia (born 24 November 1943) is an Indian economist and civil servant who was the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of the Republic of India, a position which carries the rank of a Cabinet Minister. He tendered his resignation for this post in May 2014 following the impending end of the UPAII regime at the center.[1] He was previously the first Director of the Independent Evaluation Office at the International Monetary Fund.[2]


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
  • Publications 3
  • Personal life 4
  • Awards and honours 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life and education

Montek Singh Ahluwalia was born in New Delhi in 1943 in Punjabi jatt family. He studied at St. Patrick's High School, Secunderabad and Delhi Public School, Mathura Road. He graduated with a B.A. (Hons) degree from St. Stephen's College, Delhi, University of Delhi. He was a Rhodes scholar at the University of Oxford where he studied at Magdalen College, as a graduate obtaining a MA in Philosophy Politics and Economics.[3] He then joined St Antony's College Oxford, where he obtained an M.Phil. While at Oxford, he was the president of the prestigious Oxford Union. He has received several honorary degrees, including an honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law from the Oxford University and an honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. He is an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College.[4]


After graduating from University of Oxford, Ahluwalia joined the World Bank in 1968. At the age of 28, he became the youngest "Division Chief" in the World Bank's bureaucracy, in charge of the Income Distribution Division in the World Bank's Development Research Centre.

He returned to India in 1979 to take up the position of Economic Adviser in the Ministry of Finance. He held several senior positions as a civil servant, including Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, Commerce secretary, Secretary Department of Economic Affairs in the Finance Ministry and Finance Secretary. In 1998 he was appointed Member of the Planning Commission.

In 2001, he was chosen by the Board of International Monetary Fund to be the first director of the newly created Independent Evaluation Office, in which capacity he supervised several studies critical of various aspects of the functioning of the IMF.

In June 2004, he resigned from the IMF position to take up as the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission as part of the United Progressive Alliance government in New Delhi.

Ahluwalia has been a key figure in the Indian economic reform process. He has consistently pushed for economic reforms involving a shift from the earlier reliance on extensive government control over the economy with high levels of protection, to a much more open economy with a larger role for the private sector responding to market forces and greater openness to imports, foreign technology and direct foreign investment.

He wrote an internal paper in 1990 proposing broad ranging economic reforms, which was leaked to the Press and was much discussed publically. As Commerce Secretary under Mr. P. Chidambaram as Commerce Minister, he played a major role in trade reforms which were introduced in July 1991. He was one of the small team, under Dr. Manmohan Singh as Finance Minister, which guided and implemented reforms from 1991 to 1996.

As deputy chairman of the Planning Commission from 2004 onwards, he supervised the preparation of both the Eleventh Plan (2007-08 to 2011-12) titled "Towards Faster and More Inclusive Growth" and subsequently also the Twelfth Plan (2012-13 to 2016-17) titled "Faster, More Inclusive and Sustainable Growth".

The President of India awarded him the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honour for public service.

He has published a number of articles on various aspects of the Indian economy in academic journals. He is one of the authors of "Redistribution with Growth" by Chenery et al., published by Oxford University Press in 1974.

He has also written on various aspects of India's economic reforms and on the inclusiveness of India's growth process (


Journal articles

  • Ahluwalia, Montek Singh (August 1994). "Ensuring a prosperous future". Yojana 38 (12-13). 
  • Ahluwalia, Montek Singh. "India's economic reforms: an appraisal". Planning Commission (Government of India). 

Chapters in books

  • Ahluwalia, Montek Singh (2009), "Growth, distribution and inclusiveness: reflections on India's experience", in  

World Bank

  • Ahluwalia, Montek Singh (1977). Rural poverty and agricultural performance in India. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank. Reprint series number 60.  

Personal life

Ahluwalia is married to fellow economist Dr. Isher Judge Ahluwalia and has two sons Pavan Ahluwalia and Aman Ahluwalia.

Awards and honours

Year of Award or Honor Name of Award or Honor Awarding Organization
2013 Honoris Causa Doctorate of Science Indian School of Mines
2011 Honoris Causa Doctorate of Science IIT Roorkee.[5]
2011 Padma Vibhushan President of India.
2008 Doctor of Civil Law Oxford University.


  1. ^ "Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia Resigns". NDTV. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Planning Commission". Government of India. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  3. ^ See R.W. Johnson, Look Back in Laughter: Oxford's Postwar Golden Age, Threshold Press, 2015.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Doctorate, Ahluwalia (12 November 2011). "Ahluwalia awarded Honorary Doctorate". Zee news. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 

External links

  • Planning Commission Website [3]
  • Planning Commission - Deputy Chairman's Articles [4]
  • IMF entry on Montek Singh Ahluwalia
  • Montek Singh Ahluwalia's address at IIM Ahmedabad in Mp3
  • For a critical review of aspects of Montek Ahluwalia's economic policy-making, see "Fallacious Finance: Congress, BJP, CPI-M et al may be leading India to hyperinflation" first published in The Statesman newspaper, 5 March 2007 Editorial Page Special Article, now also at "Fallacious Finance: Congress, BJP, CPI-M et al may be leading India to hyperinflation".

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