Developmental economist Arjun Sengupta passes away

Arjun Kumar Sengupta, a developmental economist and Member of the Rajya Sabha, passed away on Sunday evening. He was 73 and is survived by his wife Jayshree Sengupta and daughter Madhura Sengupta who teaches in Canada. He has had a multi-faceted career as a academician, economic policy administrator and a Parliamentarian.

"I am deeply grieved to learn about the sad demise of Dr Arjun Kumar Sengupta, Member of Parliament. He will always be remembered for his contributions when he served as Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, Ambassador of India to the European Union, Member, Planning Commission and Chairman, National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector," said M Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India.

After completing his Ph.D from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he taught at the London School of Economics and the Delhi School of Economics. He was Special Secretary (Economic Advisor) to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during 1981-84. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in August 2005. C Rangarajan, Chairman, PM's Economic Advisory Council, remembers Sengupta as an outstanding economist and a key figure in policy making. "He was a career bureaucrat. He had a good understanding of social problems and was deeply touched and involved in finding solutions for people at the bottom of the population pile," he said. This was truly reflected in a number of his suggestions for the unorganised sector. He was appointed Chairman of the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised and Informal Sector in 2004. The Commission's voluminous report is one of the most comprehensive documents on the condition of unorganised workers in India. Its recommendations on social security led to the enactment of the Unorganised Workers Social Security Act, 2008. His studies have reflected cross-linkages between extreme poverty and the downtrodden. "His dedication, sense of public service and honesty serve as an inspiration to all," Vice President Ansari said.

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