Ajit Ranade

Ajit Ranade


Human capital is not just an instrumental view of human beings as a resource for the economy, it is also as an integral part of a robust democracy and flourishing society. Thus, investment — whether in physical or human capital — is one of the big priorities of current times.


Dr. Ajit Ranade is the Vice Chancellor of the Pune-based Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, a historic centre of research and learning that dates back to 1930 when it was established by the Servants of India. The Gokhale Institute, as it is commonly known, flourishes as the oldest research and training institute in India today in the area of economics. It is named for Gopal Krishna Gokhale who founded the Servants of India Society in 1905 with a view to promoting education and preparing a new class of professionals in anticipation of political independence. The Institute, which has a deemed university status since 1993, has over the decades established strong credentials in empirical and analytical research. 

Before joining the Gokhale Institute, Dr. Ranade was the Group Executive President and Chief Economist of the Aditya Birla Group, a USD 50 billion diversified India-based multinational conglomerate. 

Dr. Ranade, a noted economist, is known for his columns in several Indian newspapers and is a valued writer for The Billion Press right from its inception. Dr. Ranade's writings occupied the space and niche that was held earlier by the late Savak Tarapore, who inspired and help found The Billion Press.

Dr. Ranade received his Ph.D. in Economics from Brown University, US. Prior to that, he did a Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, after completing a B. Tech. in Electrical Engineering at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Dr. Ranade has been a former member of the Board of Management at the Gokhale Instiute.

Dr. Ranade’s 32-year career has spanned both academic and corporate assignments. He has taught at universities in India as well as the USA. He has also served as member of several committees of the Reserve Bank of India, and as member of apex committees of national industry chambers such as CII and FICCI. He was appointed as member of the Economic Task Force for post-Covid recovery by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Dr. Ranade has many publications in reputed journals and is one of the authors of the recent award-winning book Rising to the China Challenge (Rupa Publications). His other books include books include Life Insurance in India: Emerging Issues , Three Questions about Insurance Liberalisation, Maharashtra's EGS: Regional Patterns, Scope for Reforms and Replication (all published by the IGIDR). 

He is a co founder and trustee of Association for Democratic Reforms, a group seeking transparency in Indian politics.