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Moneer Alam Is No More


Death often interferes with such suddenness that one is left completely speechless. It is difficult to reconcile with the passing of Moneer Alam. Only the other day was he moving around in the corridors and exchanging notes over email.

A stalwart in population ageing studies, Alam rose to prominence through tireless effort. He retired a couple of years back from the Institute of Economic Growth (IEG), New Delhi, where he was professor in the Population Research Centre (PRC). His research interests covered a number of issues: human resource development, health and poverty, population ageing in India and South Asia, old-age income security, elderly health and well-being, elderly social capital and start-ups. He was senior consultant, Transcultural Studies on Ageing, a joint project of IEG and Heidelberg University, at the time of his death. Between 2014 and 2016, he was the coordinator of the United Nations Population Fund-sponsored research and advocacy project “Building a Knowledge Base on Population Ageing in India.” He was also a national consultant, World Health Organization (WHO) (India) and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, from July 1993 to June 1995. His depth of understanding on health-related issues was noteworthy. On population ageing, even undergraduate students kept referring to his research and findings with great interest.

He held many important international assignments. During 2010 to 2012, he was consultant of the United States National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (Division of Behavioural and Social Sciences and Education, Committee on Population) to work on policy research and data needs to meet the challenges of ageing in Asia. Besides, he was professional specialist at International Labour Organization in 1991 and economic expert at the Consulting Centre for Finance and Investment, Saudi Arabia from 1985 to 1988.

Some of his outstanding contributions include a book published by Springer, titled, Paying Out-of-Pocket for Drugs, Diagnostics and Medical Services (2013), which was reviewed in the Journal of Economic Literature. He edited a book, Demographics, Employment and Old Age Security (2010) with Armando Barrientos which was published by Macmillan. And several of his research papers appeared in international refereed journals.

He served a number of government committees, and his contribution to policymaking has been enormously significant. As a faculty member of the PRC at IEG he kept working for the MoHFW.

Apart from his academic attainments, Alam will always be remembered for his excellent collegiality and warmth. His encouraging words for his younger colleagues and the inspiration he provided to everyone around him will be remembered for years to come.

Arup Mitra

New Delhi



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