Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tribute to Doyens: K.N.Raj & M.S.Rajan

#.K.N.RAJ: An era came to end when developmental economist, teacher and one of the architects of Indian plan edifice, passed away at the age of eighty six. Born in Thrissur on May 13, 1924; this outstanding economist had obtained his PhD from London School of Economics{LSE}under the guidance of Harold Laski-former President of India, Let K.R.Narayanan was his contemporary fellow at LSE. As a key economic policy strategist, he spent almost half of his working life outside the Kerala-he initiated his first professional stint as an economist with Planning Commission at the age of twenty six which he later left to join the Delhi University {Delhi School of Economics} in the company of Amartya Sen, Jagdish Bhagwati, Sukhmoy Chakravarty etc. Those were the golden days of economics studies in Delhi University although later he left the university in the wake of communal spread in student politics.

K.N.Raj as an economist was active since first five year plan as he was among the natural choice of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Lal Nehru albeit came in light through IInd plan in which he left his great marks with Prashant Chandra Mahalnobis. He remained economic adviser of Prime Minister-from J.L.Nehru to P.V.Narasima Rao but after mid sixties he largely focused on the affairs of Center for Development Studies {CDS} which he founded through the architectural support of Laurie Baker and financial support of than the Chief Minister of Kerala, C.M.Achuta Menon. He had credit to groom a generation of economists as a maker of DSE and CDS-both were once the most exciting centre for the study of economics in India. This man had credit to come out with the “Kerala Model” which later became synonymous with humane development model and a big source of economic programming for international agencies including of United Nations. K.N.Raj will be always remembered as a selfless man, outstanding economist, excellent teacher, institutional builder, great Mentor of young people and visionary policy maker.

#.M.S.Rajan: Professor M.S.Rajan, doyen of International Relation had last breathed weeks ago at the age of eighty nine-shifted to Delhi after receiving a Post Graduate Degree in history from Mysore University and assisted legendary B.S.Rao and Hriday Nath Kunzuru in building up the Indian Council of World Affairs {ICWA}, so committed an institutanalist that he even left his doctoral studies at Columbia University without any frills and joined the Sapru House Project. Later he joined School of International Studies {JNU} when it was established and later became its Director. Under his iconic stature, generations of scholars have groomed in the International Relations studies; he was finest teacher of his subject and a very tall Mentor to the persons of Foreign Service, academics and media. He penned twenty eight books {authored and edited} and hundreds of articles in various Journals and newspapers-he kept writing till very late from his chamber in Jawaharlal Nehru University {JNU}. Rajan as an expert of International Studies strongly spread the Indian view point across the length and width of the world. He would be always remembered for his great service to the nation.

Atul Kumar Thakur
February 19th 2010, New Delhi

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