Prof Ajit Singh

Eminent economist receives Indian honour

16 November 2010


The eminent Cambridge economist Professor Ajit Singh has received the Glory of India Award for "individual excellence, excellent performance and outstanding contribution for the progress of the nation and worldwide.”

Professor Singh is an Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge, a Senior Research Fellow at Judge Business School and a Life Fellow of Queens' College. He graduated from Punjab University and obtained his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. He began teaching economics at Cambridge in 1965.

He has been a senior economic adviser to the governments of Mexico and Tanzania and a consultant to various UN developmental organisations, including the World Bank, the ILO, UNCTAD and UNIDO.

During his economics career in Cambridge, Professor Singh has published several books and monographs as well as nearly 200 research papers, including 90 in refereed economic journals. The latter include The Economic Journal, The Review of Economic Studies, The European Economic Review, Economics Letters, Cambridge Journal of Economics, World Development and International Journal of Industrial Organisation.

Commenting on the significance of the award he said:

"Sixty years ago, two men from the third world came to the fore. These were Mao Zedong, a great leader of the Chinese people who wanted China to rise again and be a model Communist State, and Jawaharlal Nehru, Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge, who wanted India to also rise but his dream was that of a mixed economy with democracy.

"Sixty years later, it seems China is ahead but it is too early to judge who will eventually win the race. The breathtaking economic progress of China and India since their independence from colonial rule is the inspiring story of the last three decades, and long may it continue.

"The Indian case is particularly helpful to the rest of the world-if a undisciplined, chaotic and imperfectly democratic country can do so well as it has been doing, growing at ten percent a year for twenty years, then there must be hope for all countries of the world."

Professor Singh has also recently been appointed to the important Tun Ismail Ali Chair at the University of Malaya.

The Chair is funded by the Central Bank of Malaysia and is named after the first Malay Governor of the Central Bank in recognition of his services to the young nation.

The Chair's chief objective is to enhance academic excellence in the area of international financial economics not only at universities but also through public lectures and other means in the wider community of policy makers and government officials. Recent appointments to the chair have included leading policy makers and economists in international finance.