आज डॉ. निरूपम बाजपई से मिलने पर

 आज डॉ. निरूपम बाजपई  से  मिलने  पर बहुत संतोष और ख़ुशी का अनुभव हुआ . संतोष इस बात का क़ी भारत में ऐसी प्रतिभाएं है जो इस देश का मस्तक हमेशा ऊँचा रखने क़ी ताकत रखते हैं और ख़ुशी इस बात क़ी क़ि मुझ जैसे मामूली व्यक्ति को इतनी सहजता और अपनेपन से डॉ. निरूपम जी से मिलने का अवसर मिला.
                     डॉ. निरूपम जी किसी कार्य से आज कर्जत आये हुवे थे, श्रीमती बिरला के साथ किसी समाजसेवी कार्य में सहभागी होने. वापसी में वे अपने कल्याण  स्थित रिश्तेदार के यंहा दोपहर के भोजन के लिए आये. उनके ये रिश्तेदार कल्याण शहर के प्रसिद्ध उद्योगपति  एवम समाजसेवी श्री  कृष्णलाल मिश्रा जी थे. उनके बड़े बेटे श्री आशीष मिश्रा मेरे प्रिय मित्रों में हैं. उन्ही के मध्यम से डॉ. निरूपम जी के  आगमन क़ि खबर मिली.
                   फिर क्या था, आनन्-फानन में महाविद्यालय में एक संगोष्ठी का प्रस्ताव पारित करा कर, आमंत्रण पत्र और एक गुलदस्ता लेकर मैं निरूपम जी के पास  पहुँच गया. उन्होंने बड़ी ही सहजता से मेरा प्रस्ताव स्वीकार कर लिया और भावी संगोष्ठी में उपस्थिति का आश्वाशन भी दिया. हमने खाना साथ ही खाया. ४-५ घंटे लगातार हमने कई  मुद्दों पे बात-चीत की. अपने विदेश दौरों से जुड़े कई प्रसंग डॉ. साहब ने बताये. भारत के उज्जवल भविष्य के प्रति उनके मन में कंही कोई आशंका नहीं  थी. अंत में हम उन्हें छोड़ने के लिए  ईमारत के निचे आये और  उन्हें विदा दी .
                  डॉ. के  सहज ,सरल  और सजग व्यक्तित्व ने मुझे  काफी  प्रभावित किया. आप का जो परिचय नेट पे  उपलब्ध है, वो  इस प्रकार है ----------

Dr. Nirupam Bajpai is Director of the Columbia Global Centers | South Asia and a Senior Development Advisor (Full Professor according to Columbia University norms) at the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York. He is also a member of the United Nations Millennium Project on the Millennium Development Goals, the internationally agreed goals to reduce extreme poverty, disease, and hunger by the year 2015.

Over the last 15 years, Dr. Bajpai has been working at different U.S. universities beginning at the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1992; Harvard University from 1995 to 2002 and since July 2002 at Columbia University. Dr. Bajpai worked at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations before moving to the Economics Department at MIT. Prior to his arrival at Columbia University, Dr. Bajpai worked for seven years at Harvard University, most recently at the Kennedy School of Government’s Center for International Development leading the Harvard India Program and prior to that at the Harvard Institute for International Development, Harvard University. During this period, Dr. Bajpai also worked at MIT's Media Lab Asia (MLA) as a Senior Fellow.

A macroeconomist by training, Dr. Bajpai’s research interests include the links of health and development, economic geography, globalization, emerging markets, economic development and growth, global competitiveness, and macroeconomic policies in developing and developed countries. His work focuses on economic policy reform in India, China, sub-Saharan Africa and the South and East Asian regions. Currently, he is an Associate Editor of the journal Asian Economic Papers, published by MIT Press and is also on the Editorial Board of the journal Economic Change and Restructuring published by Springer.

Dr. Bajpai is considered to be a leading economic advisor of his generation. For almost two decades, Dr. Bajpai has been studying the challenges of economic development, poverty alleviation, and globalization and advising governments, both at the federal and the state levels. In India, Dr. Bajpai is also working towards combining economic development with environmental sustainability to promote the mitigation of anthropogenic climate change.

Since June 2004, Dr. Bajpai has had the high honor and privilege of advising the Honorable Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India and several of his cabinet ministers, including the Minister of Health and Family Welfare. Earlier, between 1999 and 2004, Dr. Bajpai served as an economic advisor to the Honorable Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India and to several of his cabinet ministers, including the Ministers of Finance, Commerce and Industry, and Information Technology.

Dr. Bajpai has led several teams of social and physical scientists to conduct research and advice several State Governments on “Scaling up Services in Rural India” wherein teams led by Dr. Bajpai were working with Rural Communities in India. As far as his work in India is concerned, Dr Bajpai's work most notably along with Professor Jeffrey Sachs has helped advice policymakers on a variety of issues relating to the Indian economy and India’s economic reforms, both at the federal and state levels.

Among others, his research and advice has helped implement the following:
  1. On his recommendation, a pilot project on carbon capture and geologic sequestration is being put together in Andhra Pradesh;
  2. He advises the Minister of Health and Family Welfare on the National Rural Health Mission; and has advised the Planning Commission and the state governments of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh on scaling up primary health and education services in rural areas and reforms for improving service delivery;
  3. Along with Prof. Sachs, he recommended to Prime Minister Vajpayee that India set-up national goals in the Year 2000 of doubling India’s per capita income by the end of the first decade of the 21st century and attaining universal primary literacy by 2010, goals that Prime Minister Vajpayee announced during his Independence Day address to the nation on August 15, 2000. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was launched in 2001 on his recommendation.
  4. He recommended strategies for Health for All via the Sarva Swasthya Abhiyan and is credited to have coined this name.
  5. He played a key role to help set-up the Indian National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, among many other initiatives.
  6. Based on Dr. Bajpai’s recommendations, the Government of India has initiated a scheme of scholarships for students from sub-Saharan African countries to pursue their Master’s Degrees in Indian institutions in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Currently, seven students are pursuing their Master’s Degrees in IIT, Bombay; seven in IIT, Delhi and one at the Vellore Institute of Technology.  The first batch of four students from the Mekelle Institute of Technology, Ethiopia has returned to their parent institution and has begun teaching undergraduate students.
  7. Based on Dr. Bajpai’s recommendations, the Narayana Hrudayalaya hospital in Bangalore is setting up a telemedicine program with a teaching hospital in Kumasi, Ghana to offer round-the-clock video consultation, primarily for heart patients from remote areas and to help build capacity in the Ghanaian hospital, and
  8. Working with several sub-Saharan African leaders, both in East and West Africa, Dr. Bajpai is helping connect Indian technology and innovations through its vast expertise and experience in the areas of agriculture and Green Revolution technologies, agricultural R&D, rural small-scale industry, non-conventional energy, and information technology.
Other economic policy reforms that have utilized his ideas and recommendations are in the areas of growth strategy (an inclusive growth strategy keeping the bottom 20 percent of the population in mind), fiscal reform, export orientation (In 2000, SEZs in India were introduced on Prof. Sachs’ and his recommendations) and the role of states in promoting export-led growth, small-scale industry, enhancing the global competitiveness of India’s information and communications technology industry (ICT) and the use of ICT in the education and health sectors.

Dr. Bajpai serves on the advisory Board of the World Economic Development Congress based in New York and is a leading Asia specialist for the Asian Economic Panel and the National Bureau of Asian Research.

Dr. Bajpai is widely published and is the author or co-author of dozens of scholarly articles on a variety of issues relating to economic reforms in developing countries.  He has written extensively on macroeconomic policy and management focusing on fiscal policy, and on the role of trade and foreign direct investment policies on growth and development.  In 1998, he co-edited a volume entitled “India in the Era of Economic Reforms” along with Jeffrey Sachs and Ashutosh Varshney which was published by Oxford University Press.  In 2010, he co-authored a volume entitled “Improving Access and Efficiency in Public Health Services” along with Jeffrey Sachs and Ravindra Dholakia which was published by Sage Publications. His most recent work focuses on evaluating the performance of the National Rural Health Mission; scaling up primary health and education services in rural India focusing on Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh; global services outsourcing analyzing issues relating to cost and quality.  For the U.N. Millennium Project, his papers include “Reaching the Millennium Development Goals in South Asia”; “Primary Health Care in India: Issues of Coverage and Quality” and Primary Education in India: Quality and Coverage Issues”.

Dr. Bajpai is the recipient of several honors and awards. On the eve of India’s 59th Republic Day on January 25, 2008, Dr. Bajpai was awarded the ‘Padma Shri’ by the President of India, which is a high civilian honor bestowed by the Government of India. In the category of ‘Literature and Education’, Dr. Bajpai is the youngest awardee ever since the Padma Awards were instituted in 1954 having been conferred the award at the age of 45.
Nirupam receiving Padma Medal Nirupam receiving Padma Scrollडॉ.

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