ICRIER G20 2021
ICRIER’s 13th Annual International
G20 Conference
Global Economic Coordination in the Age of Pandemic:
Views from the G20 Members
6th - 8th OCTOBER 2021


Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Montek Singh Ahluwalia , an economist, and civil servant, was former Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, Government of India. He joined the Government in 1979 as Economic Adviser in the Ministry of Finance, after which he held a series of positions including Special Secretary to the Prime Minister; Commerce Secretary; Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs; Finance Secretary in the Ministry of Finance; Member of the Planning Commission and Member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister. In 2001, he was appointed as the first Director of the newly created Independent Evaluation Office of the International Monetary Fund. He resigned from that position in 2004 to take up the position of Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission which he held from 2004 to 2014. He is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Social and Economic progress.

Mr. Ahluwalia has been a key figure in Indian economic policy. He writes on various aspects of development economics and has been published in prominent Indian and international journals and books. He co-authored Re-distribution with Growth: An Approach to Policy, which, published in 1975, was a path-breaking book on income distribution. In February 2020, he published his book, Backstage: The Story Behind India’s High Growth Years, an insider’s account of policymaking from 1985 to 2014.

For his outstanding contribution to economic policy and public service, he was conferred the prestigious ‘Padma Vibhushan’ in 2011, India’s 2nd highest civilian award for exceptional and distinguished service.

Mr. Ahluwalia graduated from Delhi University and holds an MA and an MPhil in Economics from Oxford University.He is an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College Oxford.

Amar Bhattacharya

Amar Bhattacharya is a senior fellow in the Center for Sustainable Development, housed in the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings. His focus areas are the global economy, development finance, global governance, and the links between climate and development.

From April 2007 until September 2014 he was Director of the Group of 24, an intergovernmental group of developing country Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. In that capacity he led the work program of the Group, supported the deliberations of the Ministers, and was the principal point of interface with other organizations including the G20. He has therefore been an active participant in the global economic discussions and a key representative of the views of developing countries. Prior to taking up his position with the G24, Mr. Bhattacharya had a long-standing career in the World Bank. His last position was as Senior Advisor and Head of the International Policy and Partnership Group. In this capacity, he was the focal point for the Bank’s engagement with key international groupings and institutions such as the G7/G8, G20, IMF, OECD and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Through these different positions Mr. Bhattacharya has had a long standing engagement in research and policy discussions on the global economy and spillovers, international financial architecture, development financing and the global governance agenda including on the role and reform of the international financial institutions.

He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Delhi and Brandeis University and his graduate education at Princeton University.

Carl Benedikt Frey

Carl Benedikt Frey is Oxford Martin Citi Fellow at the University of Oxford where he directs the programme on the Future of Work at the Oxford Martin School.

After studying economics, history and management at Lund University, Frey completed his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in 2011. He subsequently joined the Oxford Martin School where he founded the programme on the Future of Work with support from Citigroup. Between 2012 and 2014, he taught at the Department of Economic History at Lund University.

In 2012, Frey became an Economics Associate of Nuffield College and Senior Fellow at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, both at the University of Oxford. He remains a Senior Fellow of the Department of Economic History at Lund University, and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). In 2019, he joined the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on the New Economic Agenda, as well as the Bretton Woods Committee.

In 2013, Frey co-authored “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerization?”, estimating that 47% of jobs are at risk of automation. With over 5000 academic citations, the study’s methodology has been used by President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, the Bank of England, the World Bank, as well as a popular risk-prediction tool by the BBC. In 2019, the paper was debated on the Last Week Tonight Show with John Oliver.

Frey has served as an advisor and consultant to international organisations, think tanks, government and business, including the G20, the OECD, the European Commission, the United Nations, and several Fortune 500 companies. He is also an op-ed contributor to the Financial Times, Scientific American, and the Wall Street Journal, where he has written on the economics of artificial intelligence, the history of technology, and the future of work.

His academic work has featured in over 100 media outlets, including The Economist, Foreign Affairs, New York Times, Time Magazine, Le Monde, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In addition, he has frequently appeared international broadcast media such as CNN, BBC, PBS News Hour, Al Jazeera, and Sky News.

His most recent book, The Technology Trap, was selected a Financial Times Best Books of the Year in 2019.

Piyush Goyal

Piyush Goyal (57) is the Minister of Commerce & Industry (2019-present), Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution (2020-present), Textiles (2021-present), and Leader of the Rajya Sabha (2021-present). He was earlier the Minister of Railways (2017-21). He has also held the additional charge of Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs twice in 2018 and 2019. His previous portfolios include- Minister of Coal (2014-19), Minister of State (I/C) for Power, New & Renewable Energy (2014-17), and Mines (2016-17). As Minister of Railways, over the last two years of his tenure Railways achieved its best ever safety record of zero passenger deaths in accidents. This was achieved through holistic measures such as elimination of Unmanned Level Crossings (UMLCs) from the broad gauge network, production of safer coaches etc. Additionally, Mr Goyal oversaw the launch of the first indigenous semi-high speed train Vande Bharat Express between Delhi and Varanasi. The Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy ministries led transformational changes in India’s power sector including the fast tracking of electrification of the nearly 18,000 unelectrified villages in some of the remotest and inaccessible parts of the country, the roll out of the most comprehensive power sector reform ever (UDAY), the success of the world’s largest LED bulb distribution programme (UJALA) for energy efficiency, and massive proliferation of renewable energy through the world’s largest renewable energy expansion programme. Other achievements include the elimination of coal shortages to improve the energy security of India and successful conduct of transparent e-auctions of coal blocks. He also received the 4th Annual Carnot Prize in 2018 recognising the pathbreaking transformations in India’s energy sector. During his 35 year long political career, Mr Goyal has held several important positions at different levels in the world’s largest political party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and is in its National Executive. He has been the National Treasurer of the Party. In the 2019 Indian General Elections, he was a member of the Manifesto and Publicity Committees. He also headed the BJP’s Information Communication Campaign Committee for the Indian General Elections 2014. Mr Goyal has had a brilliant academic record – all-India second rank holder Chartered Accountant and second rank holder in Law in Mumbai University. He was a well-known investment banker and has advised top corporates on management strategy and growth. He also served on the Board of India’s largest commercial bank, the State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda. He was also nominated by the Government of India to the Task Force for Interlinking of Rivers in 2002. His father, Late Vedprakash Goyal was Union Minister of Shipping, and the National Treasurer of the BJP for over two decades. His mother Chandrakanta Goyal was elected thrice to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from Mumbai. He is married to Seema, an active social worker, and has two children – Dhruv and Radhika, who have both graduated from Harvard University, USA.

Ruzbeh Irani

Ruzbeh is the President – Group Human Resources & Communications since April 2020. He is also responsible for Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Services. He is a member of Mahindra’s Group Executive Board. Ruzbeh joined the Mahindra Group in 2007, as Executive Vice President – Corporate Strategy, heading the Group's Strategy function. He became the Chief Brand Officer of the Group. During that time he spearheaded Mahindra's entry into racing and led the development of the Group's brand position and core purpose, 'Rise'. He then moved to head International Operations for the Automotive and Farm Equipment Sectors of M&M. Subsequentially he led Group Corporate Brand, PR and Communications, Ethics as well as Mahindra’s Racing team. Ruzbeh completed his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Bombay University in 1983. He went on to receive his Masters in Management Studies from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai in 1985. He is an alumnus of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

Post his Master's degree, Ruzbeh worked with Hindustan Lever and Unilever for close to 22 years, across geographies, in marketing, customer management and general management. This included stints as Marketing Manager – Home and Personal Care (with Unilever Central Asia), Regional Manager – Western India (with Hindustan Lever), Vice President – Customer Development (with Unilever’s Africa Regional Group), and Customer Development Director on the Board of Unilever Maghreb.

Ulka Kelkar

Ulka Kelkar is Director, Climate program, WRI India. She is an economist with two decades of experience in climate change research, capacity building and outreach. She leads WRI India’s work on climate policy which aims to support India’s pathway to a climate-resilient low-carbon economy through judicious national policies, carbon market mechanisms, and effective implementation in states and cities.

Before joining WRI India, Ulka worked as a consultant climate assessment specialist for the Asian Development Bank, and as a research fellow with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE). She conducted field research in seven Indian states to assess how rural communities can adapt to climate change. She collaborated with architects and financial analysts to devise business models for low-cost climate-resilient housing in disaster-prone regions of Bangladesh and Nepal. She used behavioural economics to understand what might motivate urban households to switch to renewable energy technologies. She has worked with the corporate sector on measuring greenhouse gas emissions and developing clean development mechanism (CDM) projects. Her policy contributions include the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) roadmap for regional cooperation on climate change, National Strategy Study on CDM in India, Maharashtra State Action Plan on Climate Change, and the first national communications of India and Bhutan to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Her research has been published in journals like Annual Review of Environment & Resources, Global Environmental Change, Climate Policy, and Mitigation & Adaptation Strategies for Global Change.

She has a master’s degree in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Krishnamurthy Subramanian

Dr. K V Subramanian , currently Chief Economic Advisor to Government of India, is a leading expert on economic policy, banking and corporate governance. A PhD from Chicago Booth and a top-ranking IIT- IIM alumnus, he authored the path-breaking Economic Survey that commends "Ethical Wealth Creation” for a prosperous India. By integrating India's rich economic and spiritual heritage with modern economic ideas, he advocates ethical wealth creation through a marriage of the invisible hand of the market with the hand of trust.

The 2019 Economic Survey – again authored by Dr Subramanian - laid out the Strategic Blueprint for India to become a $5 trillion economy by generating a “virtuous cycle” where private investment, growth, and consumption feed into each other. In the 2021 Economic Survey, he advocated counter-cyclical fiscal policy using public capital expenditure to trigger the “virtuous cycle” following the Covid crisis. Drawing on the ideas advocated in his three Economic Surveys, India’s economic policy toward a self-reliant India is now characterised by: (i) sharp focus on economic growth to complement efficient welfare by generating the resources to fund the welfare programs; (ii) growth via private sector occupying the commanding heights of the economy; and (iii) “virtuous cycle” of growth via public investment and structural reforms to enhance both aggregate supply and aggregate demand. The slew of reforms implemented by the Government draw on the ideas advocated by Dr. Subramanian.

Subramanian has brought several ideas to implement welfare programs effectively. His push for the behavioural economics of ‘Nudge’ is acknowledged for its potential to bring behavioural change in India. His idea of Thalinomics – what a common person pays for a vegetarian or non-vegetarian thali – has been acclaimed as the Indian Big Mac Index. Combined with the idea of The Bare Necessities index to measure the reach of water, sanitation, a healthy environment to the common citizen, these ideas enable robust measurement of the reach of welfare programs across India’s large population.

Dr Subramanian is on leave from the Indian School of Business, where he is a Professor of Finance. Dr Subramanian has been conferred the Distinguished Alumnus award by his alma mater IIT-Kanpur. Apart from being the youngest Chief Economic Adviser, Subramanian is among the youngest to receive this honour from his alma mater. His research in banking, law and finance, innovation and economic growth, and corporate governance has been published in the world's leading journals.

Baijayant "Jay" Panda

Baijayant "Jay" Panda is the National Vice-President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prabhari of Assam & New Delhi BJP Units. He has been a four time Member of Parliament of India, elected twice each to the Rajya Sabha (2000 and 2006) and the Lok Sabha (2009 and 2014). He had been a member of BJP National core group to articulate and communicate the rationale for amending article 370 of the Indian Constitution relating to Jammu & Kashmir.

Jay Panda graduated from the Michigan Technological University and, with a background in Engineering and Management, worked in the corporate sector before joining politics. He had helped to form the erstwhile Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF) and was its Convener. He has also been associated with the India-USA Forum of Parliamentarians from its founding in 2001 and was its Chairman for fifteen years. He was awarded the “Bharat Asmita National Award” for best parliamentary practices by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India in 2008. Since its inception in 2007, he has been associated with the ‘Citizens’ Alliance Against Malnutrition’, an advocacy group including many parliamentarians across parties, civil society activists and non-governmental organizations, Bollywood actors and celebrities. The Citizens’ Alliance has undertaken numerous initiatives to battle child malnutrition in India, including field visits to rural districts in several states, continual engagement with media organizations to highlight the issue, repeated interactions with the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition, Chief Ministers and other political leaders to raise the priority given to this critical issue.

In his earlier corporate career, Jay Panda was active in industry organizations like the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the International Chromium Development Association. In the past he has also been associated with the Govt. of Odisha’s Industrial Advisory Committee and been a Director on the Industrial Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha (IPICOL). As a parliamentarian, he has been a member of many important committees like the Parliamentary Standing Committees on Finance, Home, Energy, Urban Development and Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Finance.

In Parliament and public life, Jay Panda passionately espouses the cause of his home state Odisha, as well as other national issues close to his heart, such as economic development, education, information technology and Data Privacy. He frequently participates in national television discussions and writes op-ed pieces in newspapers. He has also authored a book by the name “LUTYENS’ MAVERICK”. He holds a Private Pilot’s License for aircraft and helicopters and enjoys adventure sports like skydiving and bungee jumping.

Rohini Pande

Rohini Pande is the Henry J. Heinz II Professor of Economics and Director of the Economic Growth Center, Yale University. She is a co-editor of American Economic Review: Insights. Pande’s research is largely focused on how formal and informal institutions shape power relationships and patterns of economic and political advantage in society, particularly in developing countries. She is interested the role of public policy in providing the poor and disadvantaged political and economic power, and how notions of economic justice and human rights can help justify and enable such change.

Her most recent work focuses on testing innovative ways to make the state more accountable to its citizens, such as strengthening women’s economic and political opportunities, ensuring that environmental regulations reduce harmful emissions, and providing citizens effective means to voice their demand for state services.

In 2018, Pande received the Carolyn Bell Shaw Award from the American Economic Association for promoting the success of women in the economics profession. She is the co-chair of the Political Economy and Government Group at Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), a Board member of Bureau of Research on Economic Development (BREAD) and a former co-editor of The Review of Economics and Statistics. Before coming to Yale, Pande was the Rafik Harriri Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard Kennedy School, where she co-founded Evidence for Policy Design.

Pande received a PhD in economics from London School of Economics, a BA/MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University and a BA in Economics from Delhi University.

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