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Economist JG Barpujari passes away

Jitendra Gopal Barpujari, who served the World Bank as Principal Economist and was advisor to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), passed away in Falls Church, VA on Wednesday, December 16th. He was 68.

At the time of his death, Jitendra Borpujari was a senior associate with the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He joined CSIS in June 2005 after nearly 36 years of service at the IMF and World Bank. CSIS provides world leaders with strategic insights on solutions to current and emerging global issues. It maintains resident experts on all the world’s major geographical regions. CSIS’s mission is to help develop new methods of governance for the global age. Its audiences include public and private policy makers in the United States and around the world.

From 1996 to 2005, Dr. Barpujari served on the Executive Board of International Monetary Fund (IMF) as adviser and temporary alternate to the executive director (Saudi Arabia), responsible for preparing country-specific and systemic policy statements. He made representations in IMF Board and committee meetings and drafted ministerial speeches. From 1991 to 1996, he served at the World Bank as principal economist with oversight of aid eligibility, poverty monitoring, and international socioeconomic comparison issues. Earlier, he worked at the IMF as economist and senior economist in the European and Middle Eastern Departments.

Dr. Borpujari traveled extensively. He was a high-level consultant for national policy development and financial program negotiations, for a number of industrialized and developing countries in Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East. His research related to methodologies for fiscal impact analysis, poverty monitoring, purchasing power parities, and international income comparisons. He was also a visiting associate at Clare Hall, Cambridge (his alma mater), to develop a critique of IMF policies in poor countries. Dr. Borpujari gave numerous public speeches and contributed articles, op-ed columns, and interviews to newspapers and journals in English and Assamese.

Born at Barbheta in Jorhat district, Assam, in 1941, he had a distinguished academic career. He secured the first position in both the Matriculation (1958) and ISc (1960) examinations in Assam appearing from Jorhat Government High School and Cotton College, respectively. He graduated from Madras Christian College with Economics as Honors and a Masters from Delhi University. He received his PhD from Clare College, Cambridge University in 1969, where he attended on a UK Association of Commonwealth Universities Fellowship.

Funeral services were held on Friday, December 18 at 12 noon, at National Funeral Home, 7482 Lee Highway, Falls Church, VA 22042.

After coming to know of Dr. Borpujari’s death, Bijoy Krishna Handique, Union Minister of Department of Develoment of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Government of India, said from New Delhi “I am deeply shocked at the sudden demise of Jitendra G. Borpujari, who was an internally acclaimed economist from Assam. He was known to me personally and the memories of times we have shared come clearly to my mind now. Jitu’s jest for life was complemented by his brilliance and wisdom. The beneficiaries of his sound counsel and vision were some of the leading financial organisations in the world like IMF, World Bank and more. His death has taken away from us one of the illustrious sons of Assam, whose career will continue to inspire generations to come. At this time of grief, I offer my condolences to members of his bereaved family - to his wife Aroona, daughter Ipsa and son-in law Don. I pray for his soul to rest in eternal peace.

Jugal Kalita, Colorado