South Asian University

4th International Conference on
South Asian Economic Development

Faculty of Economics, South Asian University, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi

February 22-23, 2018


Plenary Speakers


Selim Raihan is Professor at the Department of Economics, University of Dhaka and the Executive Director of the South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM). He holds a PhD from the University of Manchester, UK. Dr. Raihan possesses vast expertise in research on international trade and trade policy issues related to the WTO, regional trading agreements and domestic trade policies. His research has focused on the effect of trade and investment liberalization on the macro-economy, poverty and income distribution situations in Bangladesh. His research interests also include analysis of economic growth and political economy analysis of growth and development. He has a long experience in teaching international trade, economic modeling, quantitative economics, econometrics, development economics and poverty dynamics at the Dhaka University. Dr. Raihan has worked for several national and international organizations including the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, UNDP, UNESCAP, UNCTAD, IFPRI etc.


V. Santhakumar is Professor at Azim Premji University, Bangalore and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum. He completed his doctoral research from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has held postdoctoral scholarships at the Wageningen Agricultural University, Netherlands, and Vanderbilt University, United States of America. He is a recipient of the research medal and the outstanding research award of the Global Development Network. He specialises in institutional issues of environment, natural resources, energy and infrastructure. His current research focusses on the inter-linkages between development and education, and the ways of shortening the `distance' between population groups so as to mitigate the `development differences' between them. His areas of interest also include Governance, Economics of Norms and Values and Economics of Public and Non-Profit Organisations. He has carried out a number of consultant assignments and research projects for the Asian Development Bank, United Nations Environment Programme and United Nations Development Programme in India, Tajikistan, Palestine, Laos etc.


Sugata Marjit is the Reserve Bank of India Professor of Industrial Economics at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta and the Project Director of Centre for Training & Research in Public Finance and Policy (CTRPFP). He is also the Editor of South Asian Journal of Macroeconomics and Public Finance. He completed his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester, United States of America. He has been the recipient of many prestigious awards and honours such as the Panchanan Chakravarty Memorial Award (1999), Mahalanobis Memorial Medal (2002), V.K.R.V. Rao National Award for Young Social Scientist (2003) etc. His teaching career has involved positions at the Indian Statistical Institute, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jadavpur University and many others. He has also served as the Visiting Professor at the Cornell University, University of Florida, State University of New York and many other prestigious Universities. His research Interests include International Economics, Economic Development, Economics of Corruption and Governance, Banking and Finance, Rational Choice Models of Political Economy, West Bengal Economy and Indian Economy. Besides being a renowned economist, Sugata Marjit is also an accomplished North Indian (Hindusthani) Classical Vocalist.

Speakers in the Roundtable Discussion


Amitabh Kundu is presently Distinguished Fellow at the Research and Information System (RIS) for Developing Countries. He is chairing the Committee overviewing the survey for Swacch Bharat Mission (Rural). He was Regional Advisor on Poverty at UNESCWA, Beirut during 2017 and Consultant to the Government of Sri Lanka during 2016. Until January 2014, he was Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has been the Dean of the School of Social Sciences and has served as a member of National Statistical Commission during 2006-08. He has been chairperson of the post Sachar Evaluation Committee, set up by the Ministry of Minority Affairs. He has done Post-Doctoral work as a Senior Fulbright Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and was a Visiting Professor at the University of Amsterdam, Sciences Po and Maison des Sciences de L’homme in Paris, University of Kaiserslautern and University of Wuerzburg in Germany. He has worked as Director at various institutes in India and is in the Editorial Board of Manpower Journal, Urban India, Journal of Educational Planning and Administration, Indian Journal of Labour Economics. He has about thirty five books and three hundred research articles, published in India and abroad, to his credit.


E. Somanathan received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard in 1995 and taught at Emory University and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor before joining the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi where he is a Professor in the Planning Unit. His areas of interest are ‘environment and development’ and ‘evolutionary models of behavior’. His current research is in environmental and development economics. Ongoing research projects include the impact of global warming and aerosols on Indian agriculture and the distribution of income, and game-theoretic modeling of climate policies. He has held post of Executive Director, South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE), 2015-17, was Gilbert White Fellow, Resources for the Future, Washington, DC, 2015-16, and Visiting Professor, Department of Economics and Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton University, in recent years. He is a Co-ordinating Lead Author for Working Group III of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.




Dr. Kavita Iyengar is an economist with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), New Delhi where she works on regional cooperation in South Asia and knowledge management. She works with the team in project design, monitoring, and implementation for regional and sub-regional economic cooperation projects in South Asia in key identified areas which include trade and investment, transport, and information and communications technology. She is also responsible for knowledge-sharing activities including the content development and generation of economic reports, research papers, and other publications; and interactions with academia. As part of the economics unit, she liaises with the government on various programs and technical assistance projects. Kavita has had varied work experience in India and the US in the fields of teaching, environment consulting, and publishing. Before moving to work at the ADB in 2003, she was Commissioning Editor at Oxford University Press (OUP) for the Economics, Business, and Ecology lists. After her B.A. (Honours) in Economics, Kavita obtained her M.A. Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Ph.D. Economics from Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts. She has published papers and edited volumes to her credit, including co-edited books on economic cooperation between India and Sri Lanka and on developing economic corridors in South Asia. Outside of work, Kavita has published a book of pen and ink drawings Delhi, Old and New.




Pramod K. Joshi is the Director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute, New Delhi. He is also the President of the Agricultural Economics Research Association-India (2016 onward) and Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and Indian Society of Agricultural Economics. Previous to this, he held the positions of the director of the National Academy of Agricultural Research Management, Hyderabad, India, and the director of the National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research, New Delhi. He was also served as the chairman of the SAARC Agricultural Centre’s governing board in Dhaka, Bangladesh (2006–08) and a member of the core group of the Indian government’s “Right to Food” National Human Rights Commission and the secretary-general of the Fourth World Congress on Conservation Agriculture. Dr. Joshi has been recipient of several awards for his contribution in social science and agricultural economics research such as Dr. MS Randhawa Memorial Award of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (2009–11), Dr RC Agarwal Life Time Achievement Award of the Indian Society of Agricultural Economics (202-13) and many more. His areas of research include technology policy, market, and institutional economics.


Shubhashis Gangopadhyay is Research Director at India Development Foundation, New Delhi, Professor of Emerging Market Finance, University of Groningen, Netherlands and Visiting Professor at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Previously, he has served as the Advisor to the Finance Minister, Government of India and Director of School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Shiv Nadar University. He did his PhD in Economics from Cornell University, New York, USA. He has served as Professor at Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi and Visiting Professor at Rutgers University, University of Southern California and many more prestigious Universities. He was awarded a doctorate (honoris causa) by the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2006. He has been published widely in top journals for his work on development economics, international trade, industrial organisation, regulatory economics and finance. He has also co-authored and co-edited a number of books in economics and finance. He has been a member of many government committees and consultant to several multilateral organisations as well as various ministries of the Government of India.