Centre for Global Negotiations

Members of the Independent Commission on International Development Issues (ICIDI)

Biography: Lakshmi Kant Jha

Born in 1913, Lakshmi Kant Jha was one of India's most distinguished sons - Secretary to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Ambassador of India, an economist of distinction, a Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, a distinguished diplomat, a respected leader in the Indian Civil Service, chairman of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in the late 1950s, a Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Deputy Chairman of the Brandt Commission.

As Secretary to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, L.K. Jha had meetings with many U.S. officials, including U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and President Lyndon Johnson, mainly to discuss security concerns and guarantees.

From 1967 to 1970, Jha was Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. As Ambassador of India between 1970 and 1973, L.K. Jha was a skilled diplomat in the troubled India-Pakistan Crisis of 1971. Also as Ambassador of India, Jha was instrumental in an agreement concerning trade in cotton textiles between India and the United States.

After the passing of Lakshmi Kant Jha in 1988, annual memorial lectures have been held in his name. In 1997, India Polity and Finance: L.K. Jha Memorial Lectures (1988-1996) was published with a preface explaining, "The fiscal research foundation has been conducting every year a memorial lecture to honour the memory of the great economist and administrator, late Shri L.K. Jha. These lectures were delivered by eminent men, known for their erudition and wide experience in the fields of finance and administration. Each of the lectures contains many suggestions and recommendations for fiscal reforms and it should be said to the credit of the Government of India that these suggestions have since been adopted in one way or the other."

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