Noted Economist Dr Isher Judge Ahluwalia, Padma Bhushan, Dies

Dr Isher Judge Ahluwalia was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2009 for her services in the field of education and literature.

Dr Isher Judge Ahluwalia died after a "brave battle with cancer", Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said.

New Delhi:

Noted economist Dr Isher Judge Ahluwalia, a recipient of the third-highest civilian award Padma Bhushan, died today. Dr Isher Ahluwalia was married to Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the ex-deputy chairman of the Planning Commission. She was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2009 for her services in the field of education and literature. She was 74. 

She was the chairperson of Delhi-based think tank Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).

As the news of her death broke, many on social media paid rich tributes.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh remembered her as "one of India's most distinguished economists". "Saddened to learn of passing away of Dr Isher Judge Ahluwalia. She was one of India's most distinguished economists & we had privilege of having her as Vice-Chairman of State Planning Board in my last term. Heartfelt condolences to Montek ji & their family in this hour of grief," he wrote.

"Deeply grieved by the passing of a dear friend of many years, the brilliant #IsherAhluwalia after a brave battle with cancer. Isher, I shall miss your presence so much. Your life story is an inspiration to all women who dare to dream of a better world. RIP, dear friend. @ICRIER," Niupama Menon Rao, India's former foreign secretary, tweeted.

Biotechnology industry veteran Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw shared a picture of the two of them together as she recalled Dr Ahluwalia's "brave battle with cancer". 

"Isher Ahluwalia, my dear dear friend and a brilliant remarkable intellectual economist passed away after a brave battle with cancer. My deepest condolences to Montek Singh Ahluwalia n his sons Pavan & Aman n the family. She will be hugely missed RIP," she posted.

Ex-Union Minister Jairam Ramesh tweeted: "Isher Ahluwalia who just passed away, was one of India's distinguished economists, a MIT PhD, and author of an influential book 'Industrial Growth in India'. She built up ICRIER, a fine economic think tank. She had her own distinctive identity apart from being Montek's wife."

"She was a member of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) on India-ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations), an association established by the respective governments in 2011-12," according to the ICRIER's official website. "She was also a member of the EPG of the Asian Development Bank from 2006 to 2007," her bio on the website reads.

"Dr Ahluwalia has written a number of books, the latest being "Transforming Our Cities: Postcards of Change" (HarperCollins, 2014), and a co-edited volume titled "Urbanisation in India: Challenges, Opportunities and the Way Forward" (Sage India, 2014), which proposes critical reforms and policy interventions," it says.