Dr Sanjaya Baru comes to LKY School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore (NUS) after four years at the office of the Prime Minister of India, where he was designated Media Advisor to Prime Minister and was also the Prime Minister’s spokesperson and principal speechwriter.
He has a diverse professional background that began at the University of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, where he was on the faculty of economics. After a decade in teaching, that included a year at the Centre for Economic Studies & Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and another year at the School of Economics & Development Studies, University of East Anglia, UK, Dr Baru moved to the media as Associate Editor of The Economic Times, India. He was Editor in-charge of the New Delhi edition of The Economic Times, one of the world’s largest selling business newspapers, during the fateful months of India’s balance of payments crisis in 1991 and through 1992-93 when India launched on a new phase of economic reform and liberalisation. He was the Editorial Page Editor of The Times of India between 1995 and 1997 and moved to a stint in academia in 1998, first as a Professor at the Research & Information System for Non-Aligned & Developing Countries (RIS) and then at the Indian Council for Research in International Economic Relations (ICRIER). At ICRIER, Dr Baru wrote a paper entitled “Towards A Bay of Bengal Community”, that unveiled the idea of what has come to be called BIMSTEC. He also wrote a paper on India-ASEAN relations and was in-charge of the India-ASEAN Distinguished Persons Lecture Series. In 2000 Dr Baru returned to the media as Chief Editor of The Financial Express and in 2004 joined the Prime Minister’s Office.
Dr Baru’s research work has spanned a wide range of areas including Indian industrial, fiscal and trade policies and regional aspects of Indian development, with a focus on emergence of first generation business enterprise. Given his interest in international trade and national security he was nominated to India’s National Security Advisory Board in 1998-2001. He drafted the chapter on ‘Economic Security’ of India’s first-ever Strategic Defence Review. His research in this area finds expression in the book, Strategic Consequences of India’s Economic Performance, Routledge, 2006. His other publications include, The Political Economy of Indian Sugar, Oxford University Press, 1990, and several essays in journals and newspapers in India and abroad.
Dr. Baru is a member of the Board of the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, and of the Committee on Economic Security, Confederation of Indian Industries. He is also a member of the CII-Aspen Strategy Group Dialogue on India-US Relations, and has been a participant in ‘Track Two Dialogues’ between India and China, Russia, Japan, European Union, Singapore.
Dr Baru obtained his PhD and Masters degree in economics from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is a graduate of Osmania University, Hyderabad. His wife, Rama, teaches public health at the Jawaharlal Nehru University and is on the board of the Public Health Foundation of India. Their daughter, Tanvika, is a student of B.A.(Hons) in Communication & Graphics Design at Lasalle College of The Arts, Singapore.