Jairam Ramesh

Jairam Ramesh

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Jairam Ramesh born April 9, 1954, is an Indian
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 economist
Economist
An economist is a professional in the social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from economics and write about economic policy...

 and an influential politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 of the Congress Party
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

 in the United Progressive Alliance
United Progressive Alliance
The United Progressive Alliance is a ruling coalition of center-left political parties heading the government of India. The coalition is led by the Indian National Congress , which is currently the single largest political party in the Lok Sabha...

 (UPA) ruling coalition
Coalition government
A coalition government is a cabinet of a parliamentary government in which several political parties cooperate. The usual reason given for this arrangement is that no party on its own can achieve a majority in the parliament...

 of center-left political parties heading the Government of India
Government of India
The Government of India, officially known as the Union Government, and also known as the Central Government, was established by the Constitution of India, and is the governing authority of the union of 28 states and seven union territories, collectively called the Republic of India...

. He is a Member of Parliament representing Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

 state in the Rajya Sabha
Rajya Sabha
The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house of the Parliament of India. Rajya means "state," and Sabha means "assembly hall" in Sanskrit. Membership is limited to 250 members, 12 of whom are chosen by the President of India for their expertise in specific fields of art, literature,...

 since June, 2004. In July, 2011, Mr. Ramesh was elevated to the Union Council of Ministers of India and appointed Minister of Rural Development
Ministry of Rural Development (India)
The Ministry of Rural Development, a branch of the Government of India, is entrusted with the task of accelerating the socio-economic development of rural India. Its focus is on health, education, drinking water, housing and roads.-History:...

 and Minister (Additional Charge) of the new Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. He was previously the Indian Minister of State
Minister of State
Minister of State is a title borne by politicians or officials in certain countries governed under a parliamentary system. In some countries a "minister of state" is a junior minister, who is assigned to assist a specific cabinet minister...

 (Independent Charge) at the Ministry of Environment and Forests from May 2009 to July 2011.

Personal


Jairam was born on April 9, 1954 in Chikmagalur, Karnataka. His father is the late Shri C.K. Ramesh. His mother is Shrimati Sridevi Ramesh. Jairam is an Iyengar Brahmin
Iyengar
Iyengar or Ayyangar is a caste given to Hindu Brahmins of Tamil origin who follow the Visishtadvaita philosophy propounded by Sri Ramanujacharya. They are found mostly in Tamil Nadu as they are generally native to the Tamil Nadu state of the Republic of India...

. He considers himself a practising Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 with Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 ingrained and calls himself a 'Hind-Budh'
He married K. R. Jayashree, an Iyer
Iyer
Iyer is the title given to the caste of Hindu Brahmin communities of Tamil origin. Most Iyers are followers of the Advaita philosophy propounded by Adi Shankara...

 Brahmin, on January 26, 1981. He and his wife currently reside at Lodi Gardens, Rajesh Pilot Marg, in New Delhi
New Delhi
New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

. Their permanent residence is at Khairatabad, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

.

Ramesh was strongly influenced by Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru , often referred to with the epithet of Panditji, was an Indian statesman who became the first Prime Minister of independent India and became noted for his “neutralist” policies in foreign affairs. He was also one of the principal leaders of India’s independence movement in the...

 since he was very young. He was fascinated by Nehru's modern approach to life, his bringing change in a traditional society and his liberal, humanist, rational approach to life, religion, men and civic matters. He considers himself a product of the Nehruvian era in many ways. An additional influence was Mohandas Gandhi whom he originally saw as anti-modern, anti-science and anti-West. As he grew older he read Gandhi more and viewed him in the political and historical context in which he operated, he came to appreciate and acknowledge Gandhi much more. He has also studied Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore , sobriquet Gurudev, was a Bengali polymath who reshaped his region's literature and music. Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he became the first non-European Nobel laureate by earning the 1913 Prize in Literature...

 deeply.

Education


Ramesh attended St. Xavier's School, Ranchi in 1961-1963 in classes 3 to 5. At age 16, under pressure from his father, Ramesh entered the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

When Ramesh was 17, he read Paul Samuelson
Paul Samuelson
Paul Anthony Samuelson was an American economist, and the first American to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. The Swedish Royal Academies stated, when awarding the prize, that he "has done more than any other contemporary economist to raise the level of scientific analysis in...

 (an American economist who won the Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 in 1970) and found him very interesting. His presentation, the substance of issues such as population and growth got him thinking of economics and the larger issues of life, more so than worrying about engineering drawings and mathematical formulae. Also when he was 17, in 1971, he read Asian Drama, one of the early books of Gunnar Myrdal
Gunnar Myrdal
Karl Gunnar Myrdal was a Swedish Nobel Laureate economist, sociologist, and politician. In 1974, he received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Friedrich Hayek for "their pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and for their penetrating analysis of the...

 (a Swedish economist who won the Nobel Prize in 1974) and wrote to him at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Myrdal sent a very nice reply and said to stay in touch with him. Asian Drama was very influential to Ramesh's understanding of development planning in India.

Ramesh graduated from IIT-Bombay in 1975 with a B. Tech.
Bachelor of Technology
The Bachelor of Technology is an undergraduate academic degree conferred after completion of a three or four year program of studies at an accredited university or accredited university-level institution...

 in Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering
Mechanical engineering is a discipline of engineering that applies the principles of physics and materials science for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the...

. In 2001, IIT-B presented him with their Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Between 1975-77 he studied at Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States....

's Heinz College and received a Master of Science
Master of Science
A Master of Science is a postgraduate academic master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The degree is typically studied for in the sciences including the social sciences.-Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay:...

 in Public Policy
Public policy
Public policy as government action is generally the principled guide to action taken by the administrative or executive branches of the state with regard to a class of issues in a manner consistent with law and institutional customs. In general, the foundation is the pertinent national and...

 and Public Management. In 1977-78, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

, he studied technology policy, economics, engineering, and management, as part of the newly-established inter-disciplinary technology policy programme.

He is a founding member of the Indian School of Business
Indian School of Business
The Indian School of Business is a business school in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India and is widely recognized as one of the top business schools in the world. It offers a Post Graduate Programme in Management , a Fellow Program in Management, and a Post Graduate Programme in Management for Senior...

 in Hyderabad and is a member of the International Council of the New York-based Asia Society
Asia Society
The Asia Society is a non-profit organization that focuses on educating the world about Asia. It has several centers in the United States and around the world Hong Kong, Manila, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, and Melbourne...

. Ramesh has been a Visiting Fellow and Affiliated Researcher of the Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi, since 2002.

Career


In 1978, Jairam Ramesh joined the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 for a short assignment. He returned to India in December 1979 and worked as assistant to economist Lovraj Kumar at the Bureau of Industrial Costs and Prices. From 1983 to 1985 he was Officer on Special Duty in the Advisory Board of Energy. He then worked in the Planning Commission (advisor to Abid Hussain
Abid Hussain
Dr. Abid Hussain is an Indian Economist and Diplomat. He is married to Trilok Karki, author of "Sino-Indian Conflict and International Politics in the Indian Sub-Continent", and has three children. His brother is the actor and mime artist Irshad Panjatan. Dr...

), Ministry of Industry
Ministry of Commerce and Industry (India)
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry administers two departments, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion. The head of the Ministry is a Minister of Cabinet rank...

 and other economic departments of the Central Government
Government of India
The Government of India, officially known as the Union Government, and also known as the Central Government, was established by the Constitution of India, and is the governing authority of the union of 28 states and seven union territories, collectively called the Republic of India...

, including: analyzing energy policy during 1983-85, reorganizing the CSIR in 1986 and implementing technology missions during 1987-89.

In 1990, he worked as an "Officer on Special Duty" during the National Front
National Front (India)
The National Front was a coalition of political parties, led by the Janata Dal, which formed India's government between 1989 and 1990 under the leadership of N. T. Rama Rao as President and V. P. Singh as Convener. The coalition's prime minister was V. P. Singh...

 administration of the V.P. Singh government. He reorganized India's international trade agencies in 1990 and was advisor to the Prime Minister in 1991. In 1991 he worked in Manmohan Singh’s finance ministry in the Narasimha Rao
Narasimha Rao
Narasimha Rao or Narasimharao is one of the Indian names.* Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao served as the 10th Prime Minister of India.* Modireddy Venkat Narasimha Rao, is a former Indian cricketer....

 administration.

Ramesh participated in India's economic reforms in 1991 and 1997. He was advisor to the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission in 1992-94, served on special mission to Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. It is situated mostly in the Himalayan mountains. Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south and internationally with the People's Republic of China to the north and east and the...

 during 1993-95 and was advisor to Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram between 1996-98. The central government invited him to join the official delegation to the World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

 meeting in Seattle in 1999.

From 2000-2002, Ramesh served as Deputy Chairman, State Planning Board, Government of Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

 and on the Economic Advisory Council of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

. He also served on the eminent persons group of the Union Ministry of Power and other key government committees.

Ramesh also served as Secretary in the All India Congress Committee
All India Congress Committee
The All India Congress Committee is the Presidium or central decision-making assembly of the Indian National Congress Party. It is composed of members elected from State-level Pradesh Congress Committees and can have as many as a thousand members...

, Deputy Chairman of the Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

 Planning Board (2000–2002), member of the Rajasthan
Rajasthan
Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

 Development Council (1999–2003), and Economic Advisor to the government of the state of Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh is a state in Central India, formed when the 16 Chhattisgarhi-speaking South-Eastern districts of Madhya Pradesh gained separate statehood on 1 November 2000....

 (2001–03). He was a member of the Congress Party's electoral strategy team for the 2004Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha or House of the People is the lower house of the Parliament of India. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by direct election under universal adult suffrage. As of 2009, there have been fifteen Lok Sabhas elected by the people of India...

 cycle.

In June, 2004, he was elected to represent Adilabad District
Adilabad district
Adilabad District is a district in Andhra Pradesh, India. The district headquarters is at Adilabad town. A famous Temple of the Goddess Saraswathi, the Hindu Goddess of Education, is located here in the town of Basara.-Origin of name:...

, Andhra Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha. Following the formation of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance
United Progressive Alliance
The United Progressive Alliance is a ruling coalition of center-left political parties heading the government of India. The coalition is led by the Indian National Congress , which is currently the single largest political party in the Lok Sabha...

 (UPA) government in 2004, he joined the National Advisory Council
National Advisory Council
The National Advisory Council of India is an advisory body set up to monitor the implementation of the UPA government's manifesto, the Common Minimum Programme. It is a brainchild of Congress party president, Sonia Gandhi. It is also informally called as UPA's Planning Commission for social...

, where he helped put together UPA's National Common Minimum Program
Common minimum programme
The Common Minimum Programme is a document outlining the minimum objectives of a coalition government in India. The document has acquired prominence since coalition governments have become the norm in India.-References:...

. From Aug. 2004 - Jan. 2006 he was a member of three committees of Parliament: the Public Accounts Committee, the Standing Committee on Finance and the Committee on Government Assurances and was a member of the Court of the Jawaharlal Nehru University
Jawaharlal Nehru University
Jawaharlal Nehru University, also known as JNU, is located in New Delhi, the capital of India. It is mainly a research oriented postgraduate University with approximately 5,500 students and a faculty strength of around 550.-History:...

.
In February, 2009, with the 15th Lok Sabha
15th Lok Sabha
Members of the 15th Lok Sabha were elected in 2009 during the General Elections in India.- Important members :* Speaker: Meira Kumar, Indian National Congress, Sasaram, Bihar...

 elections approaching, he led the party's Poll Strategy Panel. At that time he resigned his posts as Minister of State
Minister of State
Minister of State is a title borne by politicians or officials in certain countries governed under a parliamentary system. In some countries a "minister of state" is a junior minister, who is assigned to assist a specific cabinet minister...

 for Power and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry.

Following his 2009 re-election to the Indian Parliament, on 28 May 2009 Ramesh was given independent charge of Environment and Forests as Minister of State in the Congress-led administration. He was chief negotiator for India at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference
2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference
The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly known as the Copenhagen Summit, was held at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark, between 7 December and 18 December. The conference included the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate...

 held in Copenhagen, Denmark, between 7 to 18 December 2009.

Mr. Ramesh was part of the 19-member 'Foundation Day Committee' of the All India Congress Committee
All India Congress Committee
The All India Congress Committee is the Presidium or central decision-making assembly of the Indian National Congress Party. It is composed of members elected from State-level Pradesh Congress Committees and can have as many as a thousand members...

 (AICC), under the chairmanship of party president Sonia Gandhi
Sonia Gandhi
Sonia Gandhi is an Italian-born Indian politician and the President of the Indian National Congress, one of the major political parties of India. She is the widow of former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi...

, for planning the 2010 year-long celebrations of the 125th anniversary of the Congress Party.

On July 12, 2011, Mr. Ramesh was promoted to Cabinet Minister and reassigned to charge of the Ministry for Rural Development and on July 13, 2011 was named Minister (Additional Charge) of the new Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

Journalism



Mr. Ramesh has been a columnist for the Business Standard
Business Standard
Business Standard is an Indian English-language daily newspaper published by Business Standard Ltd in two languages, English and Hindi...

, Business Today
Business Today (Business Magazine)
Business Today is an Indian fortnightly business magazine published by Living Media India Limited, in publication since 1992. It had a second quarter 2010 readership of 338,000 per issue, ninth among English language magazines surveyed.-External links:...

, The Telegraph
The Telegraph (Kolkata)
The Telegraph is an Indian daily newspaper founded and continuously published in Kolkata since 1982. It is published by the ABP Group and the newspaper vies with the Times of India for the position of having the widest widest circulation of any newspaper in Eastern India.According to the Audit...

, Times of India and India Today
India Today
India Today is an Indian weekly news magazine published by Living Media India Limited, in publication since 1975 based in Mumbai. India Today is also the name of its sister-publication in Hindi...

, sometimes under the pen-name "Kautilya
Chanakya
Chānakya was a teacher to the first Maurya Emperor Chandragupta , and the first Indian emperor generally considered to be the architect of his rise to power. Traditionally, Chanakya is also identified by the names Kautilya and VishnuGupta, who authored the ancient Indian political treatise...

".

He has also anchored a number of popular television programmes on business and the economy including Business Breakfast
Business Breakfast
Business Breakfast is a business programme which aired on BBC One from September 4, 1989 to September 29, 2000.-Breakfast News:Breakfast News was a daily news programme which aired between 6:00am and 7:00am, directly preceding Breakfast News between January 4, 1993 and September 29, 2000...

 and Crossfire
Crossfire
A crossfire is a military term for the siting of weapons so that their arcs of fire overlap. This tactic came to prominence in World War I....

.
Ramesh is the author of the books:
  • Making Sense of Chindia: Reflections on China and India (2005), Foreword by Strobe Talbot.
  • Mobilising Technology for World Development (Co-editor, 1979)

External links