ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Remembering B D Dhawan (1938–2020)

The literary expertise and journey of late B D Dhawan are detailed upon, along with a look at his contributions to the Economic & Political Weekly.


In the world of academics and rese­arch, true scholars are those who not just think far ahead to anticipate ­futuristic issues of scientific and policy value in their field but also work passionately through their lifetime to shed light over and seek solutions towards those very issues. As they challenge and inspire contemporaries and successors alike and blaze new trails to explore and expand research boundaries, they also live far beyond their lifetime within the ever-expanding body of literature and never-ending sphere of policy discourse. B D Dhawan, who passed away on 11 October 2020 at the age of 82, does indeed epitomise such scholars. He was a visionary researcher well known for pioneering works in the areas of water resource economics in general and irrigation management in particular. As a forerunner and stalwart, who continues to inspire generations of researchers with his diverse contributions and influential publications, Dhawan is res­pected as a father figure among water economics researchers in India. The ­Indian literature on water resource management would not have been that rich but for his extensive contributions. In fact, water economic research in India cannot be complete without referring to his works in one form or the other!

After getting his bachelor’s degree from the University of Delhi, Dhawan obtained both his master’s and doctoral degrees from Washington University at St Louis, United States. Unlike many, he returned to ­India and joined the Institute of Economic Growth, University of Delhi in 1972, where he continued till his retirement. Dhawan had a long and truly rem­arkable career, spanning nearly four decades, as a researcher, teacher, and author. He was a vigorous researcher and prolific writer having published 14 books and hundreds of research articles that appeared in many professional journals in India and abroad. Dhawan had a special relationship with the Economic & Political Weekly (EPW) and its reader community, as many of his most influential works were published in the journal. To be precise, he published as many as 42 articles in EPW during 1968–2000. Some of them are seminal and timeless contributions referred to often in current literature.

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Updated On : 30th Jan, 2021


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