Padma Bhushan Dr. Bagicha Singh Minhas (1929 - 2005)

Padma Bhushan Dr. Bagicha Singh Minhas,  an eminent Indian Economist, was born in year 1929 at V & PO Damunda, near Adampur Doaba, District Jalandhar (Punjab). Dr. Minhas obtained his Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) from Khalsa College Amritsar and a Master’s degree in Economics from Punjab University. For a short period of time, Dr. Minhas also taught Economics at Govt. College Hoshiarpur. He then obtained another degree from the University of Illinois and followed it up with a PhD in Economics from Stanford University. After finishing his PhD in Economics, He taught economics at Stanford as an Assistant. Later on, after his return from US, he became head of the Planning Division at the Indian Statistical Institute from 1986 to 1971. In the year of 1971, Dr. Minhas was asked to take a leading role in the planning of India as a member of the Indian Planning Commission from 1971 to 1973. At the same time, he was appointed a member of the Finance Commission where he remained in position until 1973. In his role as member of both Planning Commission and Financial Commission, Dr. Minhas’ innovative mind led him to break new grounds and recommend strategies, procedures and policies for improving the economy to a substantial degree. Whatever Dr. Minhas chose to work on, he left on it the indelible impact of his expertise and high analytical calibre. Whether it was the area of agricultural development, planning strategies or statistical and econometric formulations, he made his mark and improved the quality of work in these areas. Dr. Minhas also worked as a Consultant to the World Bank at Washington (D.C) and the Statistics and Survey Division of the Food and Agricultural Organization (Rome). Between the year 1976-78, he worked as a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex in the UK and, a soon after that he was appointed Visiting Professor at John Hopkins and Visiting Professor at Ohio. From the year 1981 to 1984, he served as Secretary General of the Afro-Asian Rural Reconstruction Organization. He also had the opportunity to serve as the Chairman of the National Sample Survey (NSS) Organization from the year 1980-90), one of the most extensive as well as intensive economic survey outfits in the world. Dr. Minhas had been a Fellow of the Econometric Society (1973), a National Fellow at the Indian Council of Social Science Research (1990-92) and a life member of the American Economic Association. From 1992 to 1993, he was the President of the Indian Economic Society and, from 1994 to 1998, the President of the Indian Association for Research in National Income & Wealth. There is no end to the many distinctions, awards and honours which he has received, nor a limit to his monographs and articles of outstanding merit in numerous journals of India and the world. Above all Dr. Minhas has a many- sidedness of his own and a mind that ticks with originality. Dr. Minhas received “The Financial Express Award for Economics” on December 27, 1999 at the Annual Conference of the Indian Economic Association at Amritsar and Padma Bhushan in year 2003 for Science and Engineering. He left this world in year 2005.