The India Observatory, established in 2006, operates in conjunction with the IG Patel Chair, forming a collaborative partnership with the Reserve Bank of India and the State Bank of India. This initiative honors the legacy of Dr. IG Patel, a highly distinguished Indian economist and public servant who served as the Director of the London School of Economics (LSE) from 1984 to 1990 and as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from 1977 to 1982.
Leadership and Oversight
Professor Lord Stern and Dr. Ruth Kattumuri jointly serve as Co-Chairs of the India Observatory.
Research and Policy Commitment
The IG Patel Chair and the India Observatory are deeply committed to conducting research and engaging in public policy discussions to address global societal challenges. Their primary focus areas include sustainable growth, social inclusion, population development, and governance.
The India Observatory actively organizes and participates in dissemination activities, leveraging their research and public policy engagement efforts. These activities span across the LSE campus and extend to various locations in the UK, India, and China, in collaboration with their partners.
Executive Training Programs
The India Observatory plays a pivotal role in organizing executive training programs aimed at nurturing future leaders from emerging economies. These programs encompass several key initiatives:
- Chevening Indian Parliamentarians: A collaborative effort with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to empower Indian parliamentarians.
- Collaboration with Oxford University: In addition to the Chevening program, there are collaborative efforts with Oxford University, including engagement with Gurukul scholars.
- Indian Revenue Service Officials: Training programs tailored for officials from the Indian Revenue Service.
- Reserve Bank of India Officials: Targeted initiatives to enhance the capabilities of RBI officials.
- Indian Economic Service Officials (Past Program): Previously conducted programs for Indian Economic Service officials.
The India Observatory hosts and supervises post-doctoral and senior visiting scholars from various universities, public sector organizations, and private sector institutions across Asia. Notable visiting fellowships include:
The India Observatory, in collaboration with the IG Patel Chair, stands as a prominent institution dedicated to research, policy engagement, and leadership development with a focus on addressing pressing global challenges. Their multifaceted initiatives and partnerships underscore their commitment to promoting sustainable growth, social inclusion, and effective governance in the global context.
The IO's Relationship with India
Since 2003, LSE has been intensifying its institutional engagement with India still further, developing strong links with Indian academic institutions, government and corporate bodies to foster exchange of ideas and research, contribute to capacity building and contribute to the debate on broader policy issues.
The story of LSE and India starts with the School's foundation in 1895. As far back as 1912, an Indian was the first non-European president of the Students' Union.
Ralf Dahrendorf (1995) refers to the association between India and LSE as a story of soul mates. Through exchanges with government and academic initiatives, LSE has been more deeply entrenched in Indian life than a few highly visible names could achieve. In the words of a well-known Indian political leader, there is a vacant chair at every cabinet meeting in India reserved for the ghost of Professor Harold Laski.
Among the many famous Indians who have passed through LSE, two of the most prominent are Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, a founding father of the Indian constitution and a leader of the Dalit community in India and ex-President KR Narayanan. Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen is an LSE Honorary Fellow. Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is an Honorary Fellow of the Asia Research Centre. Thus the LSE-India partnership has been sustained and strengthened over the years.
Dr IG Patel was the ninth Director of LSE from 1984-90. In 1999 Professor Anthony Giddens, then Director of LSE and author of The Third Way, delivered the BBC Reith lecture in Delhi. Former Director Howard Davies visited India in early 2004 when a memorandum of understanding was signed with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) for collaborative activities and projects / knowledge-exchange programmes to facilitate interaction on new innovations in business practices. He also visited the then President of India Dr Abdul Kalam.