Devaki Jain

Development economist, activist and Gandhian

devakijainDevaki Jain graduated in economics from Oxford University before starting to teach the Honours course in Economics, at the Miranda House, Delhi University. She is a Gandhian, feminist economist and writer on public affairs, with special focus on poverty removal. She was one of the founders of a wide range of institutions such as Development Alternatives for Women for a new Era (DAWN) - a third world network of women social scientists who provided an alternative framework for understanding the location of advancing the cause of poor women of the South Indian Association of Women's Studies (IAWS), Kali, Feminist Publishing House and Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST) - a research centre in Delhi where she was Director until 1994. She was a member of the erstwhile South Commission, established in 1987, chaired by Dr. Julius Nyerere and various other committees/agencies such as the Advisory Committee for UNDP Human Development Report on Poverty, 1997; the Eminent Persons group associated with the Graca Machel Committee (UN) on the Impact on children of Armed Conflict etc.

Graduated in Mathematics and Economics from Mysore University, MA Economics (PPE) from St. Anne.s College, Oxford University, UK with special papers in Public Finance & Statistics U.G.C. Senior Fellowship held at Delhi School of Economics (1967-68) at the Centre for Advanced Studies, DSE. Subject of Research Paper: "Indus River waters Disputes . India & Pakistan: The Politics of Aid" Honorary Doctorate in Economics from University of Durban, Westville, 1999.


democratic decentralisation, developmental economics, equity, Gandhian Philosophy, people centred development, women's rights

Last modified: December 21, 2017

Recent projects

Charkha Courtesy:
1 January 2015 Gateway House

A fresh template for GDP growth

Although the informal and small enterprises sector contributes significantly to India’s GDP, and engages the majority of the country’s workforce, it is barely reflected in official growth numbers. Strengthening this segment will revitalise the economy and substantiate the government’s ‘Make in India’ policies
UN-WOmen Courtesy:
22 October 2014

Women, the UN and altered realities

It is evident that the UN’s institutions have lost their power to negotiate for justice. As the MDG programme draws to an end in 2015, its rhetoric must be replaced by new structures that recognise context-specific economic realities, and processes rooted in the knowledge of feminist groups all over the world
indiachina2 Courtesy: Ministry of External Affairs, India
8 November 2013 Gateway House

Women’s voices in India-China talks

At various meetings, Indian and Chinese women researchers are using a gendered lens to discuss the changes in their economies. Making these exchanges a part of bilateral dialogues and India-China summits can be a way to rethink economic policies and change the terms of trade
Commentary: A BRICS bank for the South
30 March 2013 Gateway House

Commentary: A BRICS bank for the South

In 1990, the erstwhile South Commission recommended the creation of a 'South Bank' to aid the economic emancipation of the global South. Can the BRICS bank, which was discussed in length at the 5th BRICS Summit, provide a solution to the problems of the crisis-ridden African continent? Devaki Jain blogs
looking at the lokpals fine print Courtesy: Nirzardp/WikimediaCommons
4 October 2011 Gateway House

Looking at the Lokpal’s fine print

The anti-corruption protests have offered some suggestions for the media and the cognoscenti to take forward. Now what is required is deeper discussion, which can create an example of a healthy democratic process of citizen participation in governance and policy making.