SIPA establishes Center on Indian Economic Policies

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Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley, at left, and Columbia professor Jagdish Bhagwati at the opening of the Deepak and Neera Raj Center. / Photograph by Barbara Alper

The School of International and Public Affairs has launched a new center to promote economic growth in India through research and analysis. Columbia economist Jagdish Bhagwati is leading the Deepak and Neera Raj Center on Indian Economic Policies, created with a gift from New York City–based investment banker Deepak Raj and his wife, Neera. The mission of the center, which is the first of its kind in the US, is to provide research and expertise that will help inform policy decisions, increase prosperity, and define India’s future role in the global economy. It will also conduct comparative study of US and Indian experience in such policy-relevant areas as climate change and federalism, providing scholarly support for bilateral and multilateral initiatives. “The transformation and growth of India’s economy remains as compelling and important a subject today as it has been for many decades,” says Bhagwati, who is a University Professor, which is Columbia’s highest academic rank, and a prolific author who has advised the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and other global bodies. “As a new government pursues landmark reforms, this is an especially auspicious time to be launching a center devoted to the challenging policy questions that will shape the world’s largest democracy as it strives to provide better living standards for untold millions.” 

In addition to initiating several research programs in its first year, the center will support a visiting-scholars program, a book series, and a variety of public programs. The center was inaugurated at an October 5 event attended by Arun Kumar Singh, India’s ambassador to the United States, and Arun Jaitley, India’s minister for finance, corporate affairs, and information and broadcasting.

“We are deeply grateful to Deepak and Neera Raj,” says SIPA dean Merit E. Janow ’88LAW. “By supporting critical research, scholarship, and programming, the new center will underscore SIPA’s leadership in this area and enhance curricular offerings and opportunities for students.”

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