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Montek Singh Ahluwalia
Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission
In office
6 July 2004 – 26 May 2014
Preceded byK.C. Pant
Succeeded byPost abolished
Arvind Panagariya as Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog
Personal details
Born (1943-11-24) 24 November 1943 (age 80)
Rawalpindi, Punjab Province, British India (modern-day Punjab, Pakistan)
SpouseIsher Judge Ahluwalia (until her death in 2020)
Alma materUniversity of Delhi (B.A.)
University of Oxford (M.A., M.Phil.)
Civil servant

Montek Singh Ahluwalia (born 24 November 1943) is an Indian economist and civil servant who was the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India, a position which carried the rank of a Cabinet Minister. He tendered his resignation for this post in May 2014 following the impending end of the UPA II regime at the center.[1] He was previously the first Director of the Independent Evaluation Office at the International Monetary Fund.[2]

Early life and education

Montek Singh Ahluwalia was born in Rawalpindi in 1943, the son of Jagmohan Singh, a clerk with the Defence Accounts Department, and Pushp Kaur. He studied at St. Patrick's High School, Secunderabad and Delhi Public School, Mathura Road. He graduated with a B.A. (Hons) degree from St. Stephen's College, Delhi, University of Delhi. He was a Rhodes scholar at the University of Oxford where he studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, as a graduate obtaining an M.A. in philosophy, politics and economics.[3] He then read for an MPhil at St Antony's College, Oxford. While at Oxford, he was president of the Oxford Union. He has received several honorary degrees, including an honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law from the University of Oxford and an honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. He is an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College.[4]


After graduating from University of Oxford, Ahluwalia joined the World Bank in 1968. At the age of 28, he became the youngest "Division Chief" in the World Bank's bureaucracy, in charge of the Income Distribution Division in the World Bank's Development Research Centre. After his return to India in 1979 he took up the position of Economic Adviser in the Ministry of Finance. He held several senior positions as a civil servant, including Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, Commerce secretary, Secretary Department of Economic Affairs in the Finance Ministry and Finance Secretary. In 1998 he was appointed Member of the Planning Commission. In 2001, he was chosen by the Board of International Monetary Fund to be the first director of the newly created Independent Evaluation Office, in which capacity he supervised several studies critical of various aspects of the functioning of the IMF. In June 2004, he resigned from the IMF position to take up as the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission as part of the United Progressive Alliance government in New Delhi.[citation needed]

As deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, he supervised the preparation of both the Eleventh Plan (2007–08 to 2011–12) titled "Towards Faster and More Inclusive Growth" and subsequently also the Twelfth Plan (2012–13 to 2016–17) titled "Faster, More Inclusive and Sustainable Growth".[citation needed]

He has published a number of articles on various aspects of the Indian economy in academic journals. He is one of the authors of "Redistribution with Growth" by Chenery et al., published by Oxford University Press in 1974. He has also written on various aspects of India's economic reforms and on the inclusiveness of India's growth process.[citation needed]

In 2011 Ahluwalia was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honour for public service by Mrs Pratibha Patil, then President of India.[5]

In February 2020, he published his book Backstage: The Story Behind India’s High Growth Years with Rupa Publications. The book is a mix of personal reflections and national economic history, and sets forth Ahluwalia's ideas on issues of contemporary significance including education, rural development and energy.[citation needed]

He currently holds the position of Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Social and Economic Progress - a New Delhi based think tank.[6] In June 2021, Ahluwalia was named for the high level advisory group formed jointly by IMF and World bank in the face of dual challenges of Climate Change and COVID-19 pandemic.[7]


Journal articles


Chapters in books

World Bank

Personal life

Ahluwalia was married to fellow economist Isher Judge Ahluwalia and has two sons Pawan Ahluwalia and Aman Ahluwalia.[9]

Awards and honours

The President Pratibha Devisingh Patil presenting the Padma Vibhushan Award to Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, at an Investiture Ceremony II, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on April 01, 2011
Year of Award or Honor Name of Award or Honor Awarding Organization
2013 Honoris Causa Doctorate of Science Indian School of Mines
2011 Honoris Causa Doctorate of Science IIT Roorkee.[10]
2011 Padma Vibhushan President of India.
2008 Doctor of Civil Law Oxford University.


  1. ^ "Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia Resigns". NDTV. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Planning Commission". Government of India. Archived from the original on 25 July 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  3. ^ See R.W. Johnson, Look Back in Laughter: Oxford's Postwar Golden Age, Threshold Press, 2015.
  4. ^ "People at Magdalen | Magdalen College Oxford".
  5. ^ "Padma Awards presented to 64". The Hindu. 2 April 2011. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  6. ^ "Montek Singh Ahluwalia". CSEP. 4 January 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  7. ^ Team, BS Web (17 June 2021). "Montek Ahluwalia named member of World Bank-IMF High-Level Advisory Group". Business Standard India. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  8. ^ Singhal, Rajrishi (28 March 2020). "Montek Singh Ahluwalia's hard policy truths". Livemint.
  9. ^ "Team Manmohan recalls its trusted hand: Montek". 11 June 2004. Archived from the original on 27 September 2020. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  10. ^ Doctorate, Ahluwalia (12 November 2011). "Ahluwalia awarded Honorary Doctorate". Zee news. Retrieved 12 November 2011.