LSE awards Honorary Fellowship to Indian economist and politician N.K. Singh

It is a humbling moment for me considering the stature of many of my predecessors.
- N.K.Singh
N K Singh 747 x 560
N.K.Singh at the ceremony Jim Winslet

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) conferred a prestigious Honorary Fellowship to prominent Indian policymaker and economist N.K. Singh at a ceremony in London this week (Wednesday 3 July 2024).   

The awarding of an Honorary Fellowship acknowledges and celebrates those who have made an exceptional contribution to LSE and its global community and who have gone above and beyond reasonable expectations over a sustained period of time. 

Mr Singh will join The Rt. Hon. Lord Beveridge, Professor Sir Karl Popper, Professor Amartya Sen, Dame Eugina Charles, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and others who have been recognised with this distinguished honorary award.   

Mr Singh is currently the Co-Convenor of the High Level Expert Group for the reforms of Multilateral Development Banks formed by the G20 and the President of the Institute of Economic Growth. Prior to this, he was also Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission and Chaired the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Review Committee (FRBM). He was a member of the Upper House of Parliament India, the Rajya Sabha, from 2008 to 2014.  

Mr Singh has been at the centre of policymaking in India and was part of the core group of civil servants and leaders involved in India’s economic reforms of 1991, which transformed India’s economy and prospects. He was actively involved in major structural and macroeconomic reforms thereafter as Secretary to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and as Secretary in various departments in the Ministry of Finance 

Throughout his career, Mr Singh has had a long-standing and committed relationship with LSE. He is the Co-chair of LSE’s India Advisory Board liaising closely with School Leadership to support and facilitate the university’s unique relationship with India. 

In addition, he has volunteered and offered insight to LSE and India relations for over 15 years and has served as an advocate to further research, policy impact and partnership building. 

In Mr. Singh’s acceptance speech, captioned the “The India Era”, he highlighted the evolution of India over a long period of time.  

Commenting on the award, Mr Singh said: “It is a humbling moment for me considering the stature of many of my predecessors. The LSE has been a centre of academic excellence since its inception in 1895. Its connection with India has been an intensive, inquisitive and integral relationship.” 

The Honorary Fellowship was awarded at a ceremony in central London by LSE President and Vice-Chancellor Larry Kramer 

Commenting on the award and N.K. Singh’s long-standing relationship with LSE, Professor Kramer said: “This is the first honorary fellowship I have the privilege to award in my term as LSE President, and I am particularly thrilled to confer it upon our lifelong partner, N.K. Singh. N.K.'s life and career have exemplified LSE's mission to apply the social sciences in service of humanity, and the entire School is delighted to honour his decades of friendship in this way.” 

Responding to an invitation to the ceremony, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “N.K. Singh’s profound expertise in fiscal policy, coupled with his unwavering commitment to fiscal prudence, transparency, and cooperative federalism, epitomises his enduring legacy. […] Throughout his decades of public service, [he] has exemplified leadership in key positions, including the Chairmanship of the 15th Finance Commission and the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Review Committee (FRBM).” 

The Minister of External Affairs, Dr. S. Jaishankar, emphasised that, “As a Member of Parliament, he [N.K.Singh] made notable contributions including the Committee’s dealing with public accounts, foreign affairs and human resource development. 

Recognising Mr Singh’s international standing, he added: “In the diplomatic domain, he is well-known for his efforts at forging a closer relationship between India and Japan”, and was “deeply involved in India’s G20 Presidency, serving as the Co-Convenor of the Independent Expert Group for the Reforms of Multilateral Development Banks.” 

The ceremony also included remarks from Alex Ellis, Former British High Commissioner to the Republic of India, conveying his sincerest congratulations for this highly prestigious award. 

The ceremony also included eminent people from economics, diplomacy and politics.