Patel, I. G. 1924-2005

views updated

PATEL, I. G. 1924-2005

(Indraprasad Gordhanbhai Patel)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born November 11, 1924, in Sunav, India; died July 17, 2005, in New York, NY. Economist, civil servant, and author. Considered a brilliant economist, Patel held various important positions over the course of his career, including as director of the Reserve Bank of India and of the London School of Economics. His intelligence was evident at a young age when he earned the highest score ever in his college matriculation exams. Proceeding to complete a B.A. at the University of Bombay, he then graduated from King's College, Cambridge, in 1946, continuing on to earn a Ph.D. there in 1949. After teaching economics for a year at Maharaja Sayajirao University in India, Patel embarked on a life of public service. During the early 1950s he was an economist and assistant chief of the financial problems and policies division for the International Monetary Fund, becoming its alternative director of India from 1958 to 1961. In between these periods, he was deputy economic advisor to the Indian Ministry of Finance. Returning to the ministry as chief economic advisor in 1961, he held various other increasingly responsible posts there, eventually serving as secretary from 1970 to 1972. While working for the Indian government, Patel was involved in several five-year development plans and worked to nationalize India's banking system. He then joined the United Nations as deputy administrator of its development program for five years. Patel returned to India to serve as governor of the Government Reserve Bank of India from 1977 to 1982, and over the next two years was principal of the Indian Institute of Management. His leadership there has been credited with making the institute the leading business school in India. With this formidable array of credits behind him, Patel was asked to head the prestigious London School of Economics in 1984. His tenure there was marked by several accomplishments, including greatly improving the school's financial situation, spearheading efforts to form the interdepartmental Development Studies Institute and Interdisciplinary Management Institute, and handling student protests over the LSE's South African investments during apartheid with aplomb and great empathy towards the students' point of view. Leaving the London School of Economics in 1990 but remaining an honorary fellow, Patel went back to India, where he continued to serve as an advisor and consultant on economic matters. He was the author of such books as Inflation—Should It Be Cured or Endured? (1983), Economic Reform and Global Change (1998), Glimpses of Indian Economic Policy: An Insider's View (2002), and An Encounter with Higher Education: My Years at LSE (2004).



Financial Times, August 3, 2005, p. 4.

Independent (London, England), July 20, 2005, p. 34.

Times (London, England), August 10, 2005.