Prem Shankar Jha

Prem Shankar Jha, born 22 December 1938, in Patna, Bihar, brought up in New Delhi and educated at The Doon School, Dehradun. He took a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Delhi university and a Masters of Arts Degree from University of Oxford in philosophy, politics and economics at Magadalen College, Oxford.

In 1961, he joined the United Nations where he spent five years in the United Nations Development Programme UNDP. He spent two of these five years in New York as a special assistant to the managing director of the Special Fund Mr. Paul G. Hoffman who was the first administrator of the UNDP. The remaining three were spent in Damascus, Syria.

In 1966 Jha joined the Hindustan Times as an assistant editor, in 1969 he moved to the Times of India, After a brief stint as Acting editor of the Economic Times, in 1979-80 and editor of the Financial Express in 1980-81, he returned to the Times of India as its Economic Editor. In 1986 he re-joined the Hindustan Times as its editor.

Jha has been a consultant in the preparation of the World Bank’s World Development Report,1978, and to the UN Centre for Human Settlements, Nairobi ( Habitat) in 1984-85 and again in 1986. In 1980 he co-authored a Manual for the Asia and Pacific Development Administration Center of the UN in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the Management of Public enterprises in Developing countries.

In 1985-1987 he was also a member of the energy panel of the World Commission for Environment and Development, headed by Mrs.Gro Harlem Brundtland, former prime minister of Norway. In 1987 he received the Energy Journalist of the Year award from the Washington-based International Association for Energy Economics. In 1990 he served as the information advisor to the Prime Minister of India, V. P. Singh,till the fall of his goverment on December7 of the year. Since then he has been a columnist in some of India’s main papers, including The Hindu, The Hindustan Times, The Times of India,and The Business Standard and in the weekly newsmagazines Outlook, and Tehelka. Jha has also been a visiting scholar/professor at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, the Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs, Harvard University, the Fairbank Centre for East Asian studies , Harvard, and Nuffield College Oxford.He has taught at th Universities of Virginia and Richmond and at Sciences Po in Paris.

He is author of 12 books, see and several books.

  1. Arvind Mohan says: December 14, 20182:19 pm

    Request for permission to reprint your article “After Urjit Patel Drama, RBI Must Turn Its Attention to How It Can Help India’s Economy”

    Respected Sir,

    I introduce myself as a retd. DGM from a Public Sector Bank in India. I publish a weekly newsletter for Bankers named BANKERS HELPLINE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER for the benefit of Bankers incorporating latest News & Issues related to Banking. Apart from regular individual subscribers, over 2000 bank branches have already subscribed to this Newsletter and the number is growing every day. The readership includes serving as well as retired Bankers ranging from Junior to Top Management Level (including MDs & EDs).
    I have read with interest your article “After Urjit Patel Drama, RBI Must Turn Its Attention to How It Can Help India’s Economy” and I feel that the views expressed by you would be of interest to all readers of our Newsletter.
    I would be very thankful to you if you permit us to print the same in the forthcoming issue of our Newsletter so as to share your thoughts with the Banking Community.
    If permitted I will email you a copy of the newsletter issue carrying your article and also the feedback received from our readers.

    With Sincere Regards
    Arvind Mohan
    Bankers’s Helpline

  2. Prakash Almeida says: December 16, 201812:01 am

    Dear Jha Sirji,
    I am reading your work and with great interest studying your books ‘Managed Chaos”.
    Could I get your mobile number/email to contact you? I will be happy to meet you when you are in Mumbai. I am fascinated by your vast scholarship, especially on China.

  3. Mehrose Ahmad says: April 11, 20194:12 am

    Dear Professor Prem Shankar Jha,

    My name is Mehrose Ahmad and I am the co-chair of Soch: Columbia Pakistan Symposium at Columbia University. My co-chair Sarah Irfan and I recently directed the fourth annual annual Soch: Columbia Pakistan Symposium, Columbia’s only conference focusing on Pakistan with the theme of ‘Health as a Human Right in Pakistan.’ The Symposium aims to foster a constructive dialogue that motivates the participants of Soch to produce tangible change within Pakistan and the larger South Asian community in a constructive and positive manner.

    This year at Soch, we organized several panels that explored the current healthcare landscape from a both a public health and human rights lens. We fostered discussion on women’s reproductive and sexual health, talked about mental health taboos and stigmas and traversed over how social determinants of health act as mechanisms through which health inequities fester. As a part of the conference we had UN goodwill ambassador and Junoon lead singer, Salman Ahmad speak to the audience about human rights and equitable justice. We also had other big names including Khalida Brohi, Michael Kugelman and Saba Ismail who deeply informed the panels with their meaningful work. In addition, we organized a speaker luncheon which gave the greater Pakistani community a chance to network with our panelists who were experts in their own respective areas of work. Overall, our event proved to be an astounding success.

    With our recent success, Sarah and I are determined to keep moving forward. We now imagine Soch to be an engine through which we can create more and more dialogue and discourse in the Pakistani community. We want to talk about the current conflict between India and Pakistan in regards to Kashmir. We wish to highlight ideas from all sides of the conflict, whether it is Kashmir, India or Pakistan. We believe that having such a discussion is timely and extremely important. Particularly, we plan to go in with the implied understanding that no war is ever desirable. However, we want to discuss the nuances of the situation and explain why/how the escalation took place, who can be held accountable, what is at the root of the violence in the region itself, and what practical solutions are for deescalating and what Kashmir’s future holds.

    Thus, it is our honor to invite you to speak at this event which will be held on April 26th, 2019. We believe that your political background and written work speak to your expertise on the subject. Your work as a journalist and economist can add much fruitful dialogue to the conversation. Sarah and I hope to work together with several other organizations on campus including the umbrella South Asian group (Zamana), Hindu Student Organization, Muslim Student Organization and South Asian Feminist Alliance to promote a peaceful dialogue that encourages all parties to stand together against war-mongering, violence and terrorism.

    We look forward to hearing from you and would be honored to host you at our university.

    Mehrose Ahmad and Sarah Irfan
    Soch Co-Chairs

  4. Love says: October 2, 20199:16 am

    India: A Future in Peril
    for all the shrewdness and astuteness you displayed in presenting the article the naivety in expecting that India has a 4th option of the revival of democracy seems unreal. For all the deficiencies of all previous govts, they were never this cruel and clear in their path. If you understand Modi, you will realise that he lacks intellect and so he cannot make any positive difference (and thus continue in power) to the country by reviving democracy. Modi cannot do anything better than previous govts by reviving democracy, so why will he be attractive to ppl? And if he revives democracy, he has to reverse many of his popular decisions, which would be akin to accepting that he was wrong, which will lead to opening of pandora’s box, enabling his downfall. People who lack empathy and go far in attaining power by destroying/marginalising the weak never turn back. His downfall is written in stone but that will happen only with disintegration of the country originating from major rebellion.

  5. Daxeshkumar Patel says: December 7, 201912:18 pm

    Dear sir

    Can you provide the book ?
    Kashmir 1947 Rival versions of History.
    If possible in Hindi . If not then English is ok


  6. Prem Jha says: June 4, 202011:19 am

    Please mail me at

  7. Prem Jha says: June 4, 202011:20 am

    Thank you for your comment. In future mail me at

  8. Prem Jha says: June 4, 202011:21 am

    Thank you for your comment. In future mail me at

  9. Prem Jha says: June 4, 202011:21 am

    Thank you for your comment. In future mail me at

  10. Prem Jha says: June 4, 202011:21 am

    Thank you for your comment. In future mail me at

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