Prof R Radhakrishna

Chairman, Centre for Economic and Social Studies



Professor R Radhakrishna, Chairman Centre for Economic and Social Studies passed away in the early hours of 28th January 2022. Prof Radhakrishna was earlier Director of the Centre during the period 1985-1994. He took over as Chairman of the Centre in July 2013 and has been continuing till date.

Prof.Radhakrishna did his post-graduation in Economics and Statistics from Andhra University, and Ph.D in Economics from Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (Pune University). Prof Radhakrishna was a scholar par excellence. As a PhD scholar his thesis on indifference surfaces won acclaim from no less than the world famous econometrician Gerhard Tintner.

Prof.Radhakrishna held several important positions–Chairman, Commission on Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural Development of AP(2015-16); Chairman, National Statistical Commission, GoI (2009-12); Director/Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (2001- 07); Vice Chancellor, Andhra University (1998-2001); Member Secretary, ICSSR (1994-97); Director, CESS (1985-1994), Professor of Economics, University of Hyderabad (1980-85) Professor, Sardar Patel Institute of Social Economic Research (1973-80) and Visiting Fellow, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, U.K. (1976-77). He served as an expert in numerous international organizations-Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 1997; Management of Social Transformation (MOST), UNESCO, 2004 and UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and Pacific, 2005. He was a Consultant to several international bodies including Internal Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Vienna,World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UNDP, and FAO.

Prof Radhakrishna chaired number of official committees of national significance. Of these Expert Group on Farmers’ Indebtedness (2006-07) and the Committee on Credit Related Issues under SGSY (2008-09) are well-known. Following the recommendations made in the Committee on ‘Credit Related Issues under SGSY’, GoI established National Rural Livelihood Mission in 2011. He was also member of the three important Planning Commission Expert Groups related to Poverty: Task force on projections of Minimum needs and Effective Consumption Demand, 1977-78; Expert Group on Estimation of Proportion and Number of Poor, 1989-93 (LakdawalaCommittee) and Expert Group to Review the Methodologies on Estimation of the Poor, 2006-08 (Tendulkar Committee).He was also Chairman of UGC Committees to review Universities and ICSSR Review Committee to review its research institutes in north-west India.

He was associated with academic and research institutions in the capacity of Chairman or Board Member: Chairman, Madras Institute for Development Studies; Board Member, Madras School of Economics; Chairman, Centre for Development Alternatives, Ahmadabad; and presently Chairman, Institute for Development Studies, Andhra Pradesh. At present he is President of Indian Society of Agricultural Marketing and Chairman, Indian Association of Social Science Institutions. He was President elect of the Indian Society of Agriculture Economics (2019). He was the Conference President of: Indian Economic Association (2016), Indian Econometric Society (2008), Indian Society of Labour Economics (2002), Indian Society of Agricultural Marketing (1996), and Association of Asian Social Science Research Councils (1995).

He served on editorial boards of several peer reviewed academic journals including Journal of Quantitative Economics, Asia Pacific Journal of Rural Development, Journal of Asian Economics and IASSI quarterly.

Prof.Radhakrishna is an eminent development economist, well known academician and highly respected teacher. He successfully guided 25 doctoral students. He worked on several socially relevant areas, and made research contributions to Complete Demand Systems,Quantitative economics; and pioneering contributions to problems relating to poverty and well-being, agriculture and food security and rural development.

He published a large number of books and more than 100 original research papers in national and international journals and immensely contributed to policy making at state and national levels. His well cited publications include India’s Public Distribution System: A National and International Perspective (1998); Empowering Rural Labour (1998); India Development Report 2008 and Handbook of Poverty in India: Policy Perspective (2005).In recognition of his significant academic contributions, he was awarded VKRV Rao Prize in Economics in 1985, and Telugu AtmaGauravaPuraskaram for his eminence in Social Sciences by Government of AndhraPradesh in 1998. He was Jawaharlal Nehru National Fellow (ICSSR) during 2009-11.

Prof.Radhakrishna has been involved in advising and assisting several policy making bodies. During his tenure as Chairman of National Statistical Commission (NSC), he and his colleagues finalized the National Policy on Official Statistics, Draft Bill on National Statistical Commission (NSC), Code of Statistical Practices, and formulated guidelines for outsourcing statistical activities.He was Chairman, 75th Round of NSS devoted to the Household Consumer expenditure and Household Social Consumption.

His compendium of books published by Academic Foundation in 2017 are on the themes of Indian Economy, Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition; Growth, Poverty and Well-0being; Econometrics of Consumer Behaviour; and Inflation, Consumption and Welfare.

Prof Radhakrishna will be remembered forever by the academic community for his contributions in the research and policy in the fields of poverty, agriculture, food security, employment and rural development. He nurtured younger generations towards academic excellence. His legacy will be carried forward by his students far and wide. He has been the ‘Legend of our time’.


28th January 2022

CESS, Hyderabad