Isher Judge Ahluwalia

Isher Judge Ahluwalia
Born 1 October 1945
Nationality India
Field Urban and Industry
Stanley Fischer[1]

Isher Judge Ahluwalia is an Indian economist.[2] She is Chairperson, Board of Governors, the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).[3]


Ahluwalia is a recipient of a PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),[4] M.A. from the Delhi School of Economics, and a B.A. (Eco Hons) degree from Presidency College, Kolkata, University of Calcutta. Her research has focused on urban development, industrial development, macro-economic reforms, and social sector development issues in India. She has participated in numerous policy debates and has provided articles to many professionally arbitrated newsletters.

Personal life

Ahluwalia is married to fellow economist Montek Singh Ahluwalia.[5] They have two sons, Pavan Ahluwalia and Aman Ahluwalia.


  • 2009 – Padma Bhushan for Literature and Education by the Government of India.[6]
  • 1987 – Batheja Memorial Award for best book on Indian Economy, "Industrial Growth in India: Stagnation since the mid-1960s".[7]


Ahluwalia is Chairperson, Board of Governors, the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, and was the Director and Chief Executive from 1998 to 2002. She is Member of National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council and is on the Boards of a number of premier research institutes in India. She holds a number of positions, e.g., Member, Board of Trustees of the International Water Management Institute.

Ahluwalia was appointed Chairperson of the High Powered Expert Committee on Urban Infrastructure and Services by the Ministry of Urban Development, and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India, in 2008. She was Chairperson, Board of Trustees of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington D.C. from 2003 to 2006, and Member, Board of Trustees, IFPRI from 2000 to 2006. She was a Member of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) which prepared a report on the role of the Asian Development Bank from 2006 to 2007, and Member of the Eminent Persons Group on India-ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) – an association established by the respective governments. She was Vice Chairperson the Punjab State Planning Board from 2005 to 2007.

Selected bibliography


  • Ahluwalia, Isher (1989). Industrial growth in India: stagnation since the mid-sixties. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195624779. 
  • Ahluwalia, Isher (1991). Productivity and growth in Indian manufacturing. Delhi New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195627633. 
  • Ahluwalia, Isher; Little, I.M.D. (2012). India's economic reforms and development: essays for Manmohan Singh. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198082231. 
  • Ahluwalia, Isher; Kanbur, Ravi; Mohanty, P. K. Mohanty (2014). Urbanisation in India: challenges, opportunities and the way forward. New Delhi: Sage. ISBN 9788132119593. 
  • Ahluwalia, Isher (2014). Transforming our cities: postcards of change. Noida, India: HarperCollins Publishers India. ISBN 9789351362197. 

Chapters in books

  • Ahluwalia, Isher (2009), "Challenges of economic development in Punjab", in Kanbur, Ravi; Basu, Kaushik, Arguments for a better world: essays in honor of Amartya Sen | Volume II: Society, institutions and development, Oxford New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 303–326, ISBN 9780199239979. 


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