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LSE confers honorary fellowship on N.K. Singh

The fellowship 'acknowledges and celebrates those who have made an exceptional contribution to LSE and its global community'

LSE confers honorary fellowship on N.K. Singh
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has conferred a honorary fellowship on Indian policymaker and economist N.K. Singh.

Singh joins the ranks of Queen Elizabeth, Amartya Sen, Lord Beveridge, professor Sir Karl Popper and others who have been recognized with the fellowship that “acknowledges and celebrates those who have made an exceptional contribution to LSE and its global community.”

Singh is currently co-convenor of the high level expert group for the reforms of multilateral development banks formed by the G20 and the President of the Institute of Economic Growth.

He was earlier chairman of India’s 15th Finance Commission and chaired the fiscal responsibility and budget management review committee. He was also a member of the Upper House of Parliament in India, the Rajya Sabha, from 2008 to 2014.

“It is a humbling moment for me considering the stature of many of my predecessors. The LSE has been a centre of academic excellence since its inception in 1895. Its connection with India has been an intensive, inquisitive and integral relationship,” Singh said, while commenting on the award.

In his acceptance speech, captioned the “The India Era”, Singh highlighted the evolution of India over a long period of time. The honorary fellowship was awarded at a ceremony in central London by LSE president and vice-chancellor Larry Kramer.

Commenting on the award Professor Kramer said: “This is the first honorary fellowship I have the privilege to award in my term as LSE president, and I am particularly thrilled to confer it upon our lifelong partner, N.K. Singh. N.K.’s life and career have exemplified LSE’s mission to apply the social sciences in service of humanity, and the entire School is delighted to honour his decades of friendship in this way.”

Singh has been at the centre of policymaking in India and was part of the core group of civil servants and leaders involved in India’s economic reforms of 1991, which transformed India’s economy and prospects.

He was actively involved in major structural and macroeconomic reforms thereafter as secretary to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and as secretary in various departments in the ministry of finance

Throughout his career, Singh has had a long-standing relationship with LSE. He is the co-chair of LSE’s India Advisory Board liaising closely with school leadership to support and facilitate the university’s unique relationship with India.

In addition, he has volunteered and offered insight to LSE and India relations for over 15 years and has served as an advocate to further research, policy impact and partnership building.

“N.K. Singh’s profound expertise in fiscal policy, coupled with his unwavering commitment to fiscal prudence, transparency, and cooperative federalism, epitomises his enduring legacy. Throughout his decades of public service, he has exemplified leadership in key positions, including chairmanship of the 15th Finance Commission and the FRBM,” finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, responding to an invitation to the ceremony.

Minister of external affairs S. Jaishankar said, “As a Member of Parliament, he [N.K.Singh] made notable contributions including the committee’s dealing with public accounts, foreign affairs and human resource development.”

Recognising Mr Singh’s international standing, he added: “In the diplomatic domain, he is well-known for his efforts at forging a closer relationship between India and Japan”, and was “deeply involved in India’s G20 presidency, serving as the co-convenor of the independent expert group for the reforms of multilateral development banks.”

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