Isher Judge Ahluwalia, a renowned intellectual and economist passed away followed a hard fought battle with cancer. She would have turned 75 on October 1.

Judge Ahluwalia was chairperson of a think-tank called Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) for 15 years and stepped down last month due to ill health. She was also chairperson emeritus at ICRIER.

Her friend Kiran Mazumdar Shaw tweeted her condolences. Judge is the wife of Montek Singh Ahluwalia who headed the Indian Planning Commission under the Manmohan Singh government.

Judge Ahluwalia was a recipient of a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an M.A. from the Delhi School of Economics, and a B.A. (Eco Hons) from Presidency College, Kolkata. She was taught by outstanding minds like Prof. Amartya Sen, Prof. Sukhamoy Chakravarty and Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati. Judge’s focus in research has been on urban development, industrial development, macro-economic reforms, and social sector development issues in India.

Recently SheThePeople reviewed Judge’s autobiography, Breaking Through, which is not just about her glorious career as an accomplished economic policy researcher and her professional prowess to build institutions and think tanks, it’s also about her teaching career. “There is a continuous sense of movement and vitality in the narrative, of a woman on the go, achieving one milestone after another through a tough grind, while staying close to her roots,” noted the reviewer. “It encompasses every aspect of her life, whether it is as a wife and mother, or friend and mentor. Sincere and authentic, her yearning to try her hardest to add value to whatever crosses her path is evident in her every thought and action.”

Isher Judge Ahluwalia met her husband Montek Singh while doing an internship with the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC. In her book, Judge also spoke about her 50-year-old marriage to Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the challenges of parenting, and her many cherished friendships such as with friends like Sudha Murty, Mrs Gursharan Kaur and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.” The book also talks about Judge’s struggle to retain her hard-won identity (in the light of Montek Singh Ahluwalia’s illustrious career), and shatter the proverbial glass ceiling to claim her well-deserved place right at the top of the cerebral pecking order.”

Her other major economic books are: Industrial Growth in India: Stagnation Since the Mid-Sixties and Productivity and Growth in Indian Manufacturing).
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