Brief Biography

The life-story of Dr Narendra Jadhav is a story of the emerging resurgent India and its great potential. From a modest start, as a first-generation learner from a poor Dalit family in Mumbai, Dr Narendra Jadhav grew up to be a public figure, undaunted by social and economic deprivation, making on his way a distinctive mark in several areas including Economics, Education, Public Policy and Literature. His contribution to different fields of public life, fighting against all odds, has earned him wide recognition. In fact, Dr Jadhav has been regarded as a Role Model for millions of disempowered in our country.

A celebrated public figure, Dr Narendra Jadhav is recipient of as many as 67 national and international awards for his contribution to Education, Literature, Culture and Social Work besides Economics. These include four Honorary D.Litt Degrees from Universities in four different States, Thomas Hart Benton Mural Medallion i.e, the President’s Medal from Indiana University, USA and above all, the title of the ‘Commander of the Order of Academic Palmes’ by Government of France.

Narendra Jadhav has outstanding academic credentials. After initial studies at Mumbai University with exceptional track record, he earned his PhD from Indiana University, USA with distinction, i.e., Award for Outstanding Contribution to Economic Theory as also the Best International Student Award. While completing his PhD dissertation, Dr Jadhav also taught in two Universities in the US - Indiana University, and DePauw University, where he was an exceptionally popular teacher. On completion of his studies, turning down several lucrative job offers in the US, Dr Jadhav immediately returned to India and dedicated himself to Public Service.


As a career economist, Dr Jadhav worked for 31 years with the Reserve Bank of India, and other Central Banks (i.e. Da Afghanistan Bank and National Bank of Ethiopia). He also worked as Adviser in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for over four years. Dr Jadhav took voluntary retirement in October 2008 from the position of Principal Adviser and Chief Economist of the RBI in the rank of Executive Director.

 As a professional economist, Dr Jadhav’s contributions include ‘Ambedkar - An Economist Extraordinaire’ (2016), ‘Monetary Policy, Financial Stability and Central Banking in India’ (2006), ‘Re-emerging India - A Global Perspective’ (2005) and ‘Monetary Economics for India’ (1994). All these books are standard sources of reference for advanced study in most Universities in India.

Currently, Dr Jadhav has been serving as Chairman, Reserve Bank of India History Advisory Committee.


In 2006, Dr Jadhav was appointed as Vice Chancellor of the University of Pune. Within three years, he transformed the University into a vibrant and dynamic centre of excellence and singularly contributed to making it the most favoured destination for foreign students coming to India. Dr Jadhav took several far-reaching initiatives aimed at improving the access and equity (through “Education Guarantee Scheme” for the unprivileged youth) and quality (through a complete revision of all 484 curricula with involvement of relevant industry), promoting the research environment through innovative financial incentives, and improving the governance (through an ambitious 'Pune University Network' (PUN) Program, connecting the Main Campus with all 500+ Affiliated colleges using ICT). The vision that Dr Jadhav had articulated and operationalized for Pune University led him to Planning Commission as a Member (Chairman: Dr. Manmohan Singh) in-charge of Education, Labour and Employment, and Social Justice and Empowerment (2009-14), and as a Member, National Advisory Council (NAC) (Chairman: Smt. Sonia Gandhi (2010-2014).


As Member, Planning Commission, Dr Jadhav played an important role in formulating the 12th Five Year Plan, especially in respect of Education and Skill Development. His contribution to formulation of the ambitious scheme titled Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) as well as for developing the eco-system for Skill Development in India has been recognized.


As Member, National Advisory Council (NAC) Dr Jadhav’s notable contributions include, inter alia, implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009, and empowerment of SC, ST, Minorities and Denotified Nomadic Tribes (DNTs) through education.         


Over the years, Dr Jadhav has authored 31 Official Reports on a wide range of Public Policy issues. These include Reports on ‘Preparation of Perspective Plan for Higher Education’ (Government of Maharashtra, 2015), ‘National Skills Qualification Framework’ (Government of India, 2013), ‘Amendments to the Factories Act, 1948’ (Government of India, 2012) and ‘Vision on Vocational Education and Training’ (Government of India, 2011). Other Reports authored by Dr Jadhav include (‘Guidelines for Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP)’ (Government of India, 2011), ‘Amendments to the Apprenticeship Act, 1961’ (Government of India, 2010) ‘Farmers Suicides’ (Government of Maharashtra, 2008), ‘Hawala Market Operations’ (RBI), ‘Development Needs of the Ladakh Region’ (Ministry of Home Affairs, 2011) and ‘Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) (Government of India, 2013).


Never a cloistered scholar, Dr Jadhav, has been a prolific writer, in spite of being engaged in Public Service spanning more than four decades.  He has written or edited 37 books in three languages – 19 in English, 13 in Marathi, and 5 in Hindi, besides over 300 Research Papers and Articles.

Dr Jadhav is a socially conscientious litterateur. He has written or edited 21 books on Dr Ambedkar – nine in English, eight in Marathi and four in Hindi comprising an intellectual biography, picture biographies edited speeches, and writings of Dr Ambedkar. These books help establish Dr Ambedkar as an intellectual colossus and truly a national leader and not merely a Dalit icon.

Furthermore, through his trilogy on Rabindranath Tagore comprising an analytical biography, and translation of selected poems, short stories, plays, parodies, articles and speeches, Dr Jadhav comprehensively introduced Gurudev’s treasure trove to the Marathi-speaking readership.

In addition, Dr Jadhav’s three autobiographical novels i.e., Aamcha Baap Aan Amhi’ (Marathi, 1993), ‘Outcaste (English, 2002) and ‘Untouchables (English, 2005) present deep humanistic values underlying the real life story of struggle for human dignity by a Dalit family. Aamcha Baap Aan Amhi’ with 199 editions so far has reportedly become the largest selling book in the history of Marathi literature. Moreover, ‘Untouchables’ published in the US and ‘Aamcha Baap Aan Amhi’ have been translated into several Indian languages including Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil, Urdu, Konkani, and Punjabi (‘Sahitya Akademi Award’ winner), besides French, Spanish, Korean and Thai. In fact, the book is a huge bestseller in French and Korean languages.


Dr Jadhav has currently been serving as Distinguished Professor, Council for Social Development (CSD), New Delhi with focused research on the New Education Policy for India. He is also serving as Emeritus Professor of Public Policy at MIT School of Government, Pune teaching a range of Public Policy issues, especially Education, Health, Social Welfare and Economic Growth.


Dr Jadhav is an outstanding Public Speaker. He has delivered numerous Memorial Lectures, Convocation Addresses and Guest Lectures in national and international forums aimed at educating the general public and helping build consensus around the ongoing educational and economic reforms in our country.


From April 2016, Dr Jadhav has been nominated as a Member of Parliament (MP) in Rajya Sabha.