Council on Energy, Environment and Water Integrated | International | Independent
N.K. Singh

N.K. Singh

Mr N.K. Singh is a prominent Indian economist, academician, and policymaker. He is currently the President of the Institute of Economic Growth and Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission. Prior to this position, he presided as Chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Review Committee (FRBM). He also served as a member of the Upper House of the Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, from 2008 to 2014, during which time he contributed to several prominent Parliamentary Standing Committees including the Public Accounts Committee, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Human Resource Development.

Mr Singh had a long and distinguished career as a member of the Indian Administrative Services before his entry into politics and fiscal policy leadership. He served as Expenditure Secretary (1995-1996), Revenue Secretary (1996-1998) and Secretary to the Prime Minister of India (1998-2001), among other senior leadership roles. He was part of the core group of advisors and strategists during India’s economic reforms of 1991 where he was principal interlocutor for negotiations with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Mr Singh brings a wealth of national and international experience to the table, having interacted closely with multilateral organizations such as the World Bank, IMF, ADB, and OECD. His early work as First Minister, Economic and Commercial, Indian Embassy, Japan (1981–85) and subsequent contributions to the international economic order were recognized by the Emperor of Japan with the award of the “Order of the Rising Sun - Gold and Silver" in 2016. The Japanese order is the second-highest civilian award accorded to people with distinguished achievements in the field of international relations, promotion of Japanese culture, development in welfare or preservation of the environment. He was the only Indian in the list of recipients of 2016 Spring Imperial Decorations.

On the academic front, he is a Member of the Governing Board of the Nalanda University and Chairperson of its Endowments Committee. He is also a Member of the India Advisory Board of the London School of Economics (LSE). Mr Singh has been a recurring eminent guest lecturer at prestigious academic institutions and Universities like Columbia, Yale, Stanford and the LSE.

Mr Singh is also a published author with several prominent books to his name. "Politics of Change", an insight into India's politics and economy, provides incisive insights into the realities of coalition politics and international fault lines. "Not by Reason Alone," comments on the past and present of the politics of change and “The New Bihar: Rekindling Governance and Development", is a collection of perceptive essays on the Bihar model of development. His autobiography “Portraits of Power: Half a Century of Being at Ringside” was published in 2020. His latest book “Recalibrate: Changing Paradigms” is a compilation of essays written in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic on a wide range of subjects including fiscal policy, federalism, health, education, geopolitics and climate change to mention a few. He has been a reputed columnist in leading Indian newspapers including the likes of Hindustan Times, Hindustan, The Indian Express, The Hindu, and Mint. He is currently a Special Invitee to the CEEW Board.