Renowned economist Suresh Tendulkar, 72, died this morning of a cardiac failure in a Pune hospital.
A former director of the Delhi School of Economics, where he was a colleague of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Tendulkar served as the chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) in 2008-09.
According to a family member, he had been battling an infection for the past two months and had undergone a bypass surgery recently.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled his death in his message to Tendulkar’s wife Sunetra.
“In Suresh’s demise, our country has lost one of its most eminent economists. His work on poverty was pathbreaking and will continue to guide and inspire the coming generations of economists,” Singh said, adding this was a personal loss to him.
“He was a very dear friend and a colleague whose advice I valued immensely,” he added.
PMEAC Chairman C Rangarajan said: “He was one of the best economists in India who firmly believed in the liberalisation policies and was against the controlled regime.”.
Tendulkar had succeeded Rangarajan as the chairman of the National Statistical Commission.
In 2009, a committee headed by Tendulkar came out with a new method to calculate poverty. According to this method, the number of the poor in the country in 2004-05 went up from 27.5 per cent of the total population to 37.2 per cent.
Earlier, the Centre used to estimate poverty by measuring calorie intake by individuals. But the Tendulkar committee moved to a wider definition, including spending on food as well as education, health, and clothing.
“Tendulkar had also come up with a novel method to calculate people below the poverty line. A very thoughtful and patient man. I will miss him,” said Rangarajan.
India’s chief statistician, TCA Anant, who was Tendulkar’s student at the Delhi School of Economics from 1978 to 1980, said: “He was an outstanding teacher and very logical. He would teach even subjective topics in a very organised manner, step by step.”
Tendulkar taught many subjects, including Indian Economy, Industrial Economics and Planning as a faculty member of the Delhi School of Economics.
He was also a member of the first Disinvestment Commission (1996-99), and the Fifth Central Pay Commission (1994-97).
Tendulkar authored several books like ‘Reintegrating India with the World Economy’ and ‘Understanding Reforms’.