Curriculum Vitae

Devaki Jain - was born in 1933. She is awarded Honorary Fellow at St. Anne's College, Oxford University in December 2016.


  • 1953 Graduated in Mathematics and Economics from Mysore University with 3 gold medals for first rank in Mathematics, English and Total.
  • 1959-62 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.

Work Experience

  • 1956 - 58 Research Associate at the Indian Co-operative Union - during which she walked with the Gandhian activist Vinoba Bhave, studied his concept of .Bhoodan and Gramdhan. and wrote a paper for the Indian Co-operative Union (ICU), comparing the various models of Rural Development of that time.
  • 1958 Selected to participate in the Harvard International Seminar at the Harvard School of International Affairs, at that time directed by Henry Kissinger. At this summer seminar, she met Eleanor Roosevelt, - among others.
  • 1958 - 59 Research Associate to Prof. Gunnar Myrdal, while he worked on his 3 volume book .The Asian Drama.
  • 1962-67 Lecturer in Economics, Miranda house, Delhi University.
  • 1967-68 Senior Research Fellow, UGC, Centre for Advanced Studies, at Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University.
  • 1969-73 Economic consultant to Industrial Development Services, New Delhi.
  • 1973-75 Edited and published a book INDIAN WOMEN for Government of India, Publication Division.
  • 1975-94 Director, Institute of Social Studies. A research and development organisation renowned both nationally and internationally for its pioneering research and advocacy in women amongst the poor especially women workers.
  • 1995-96 Adviser, National Commission on Women, Government of India, New Delhi

Visiting Fellow at:

  • Harvard University USA 1984
  • Boston University USA 1984
  • Sussex University UK 1993

National Level:

Member of the Karnataka State Planning Board (1993-1999) and as Chairperson of the Sub-group on District Level Planning for Social Development( A Sub-group of the State Planning Board ). Prepared a Report on the rationalisation of Development Administration for improving efficiency of the design and delivery of social development Served on the National Preparatory Committees set up by the Government of India to prepare for the UN World Conferences, notably, Nairobi (women), 1985; Cairo (population) 1995; and Beijing (women) 1995.

Member of many policy and programme designing task forces and working groups set up, with special reference to women's economic empowerment, by the Government of India such as Ministry of Rural Development to design credit programmes for Rural Women, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Member of the Core Committee of the National Women.s Resource Centre, Ministry of Labour, Equal Remuneration Act, Central Planning Commission, groups set up to draft the Women's Development Chapter, University Grants Commission, Standing Committee on Women.s Studies, Economic Adviser, National Commission for Women and Convenor of expert group on Gender Audit.

Founder Member of the Indian Association of Women.s Studies (IAWS), and Kali, a feminist Publishing House

International Level:

As an outcome of her participation in many regional and international organisations, focussing especially on development with special reference to women, especially the paper/lecture she prepared for an OECD/DAC/WID Conference, pre-Nairobi in 1983, she initiated a brainstorming in Bangalore in August 1984, which led to the founding of DAWN, a third-world network of women social scientists who provided an alternative framework for understanding the location of and advancing the cause of poor women of the South.

Founder member of International Network for Engineers and Scientists-INES -an outcome of the Scientists for Peace Initiatives of Bertrand Russell. The Association works for the transformation of Science and Technology for Peace Development - not war.

Between 1987 and 1990, served as a Member of the erstwhile South Commission headed by Dr. Julius Nyerere - one of the Twenty-Six economists who were invited by Dr. Nyerere to develop an analysis and an action agenda for South - South economic co-operation.

As a participant in these networks and forums has travelled extensively in the world. Almost all countries including Pacific and Caribbean Islands as Chair of the Advisory Committee on Gender for United Nations Centre in Asia Pacific. In Africa, visited Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Benin and Senegal, Liberia, Cote D'lvoire, South Africa and Botswana. Along with Dr. Julius Nyerere, had the privilege of meeting and discussing with African leaders their vision and their concerns.

Has been a member of Advisory Committees Expert Groups, Consultations by UN Organisations such as UN itself, UNIFEM, WHO, FAO, ILO, UNESCO, UNICEF and UNFPA

Notable amongst these are UNFPA: Advisory Committee UNFPA, 1993 to give shape to UNFPA approach to ICPD, Cairo as well as EPG of UNFPA, to draft Tokyo Declaration prior to ICPD UNDP, a member of the Advisory Panel set up by UNDP to advise on the preparation of the Human Development Report 1997 on Poverty and for the 2002 on Governance UN - Peace as a member of the Eminent Persons Group of the Graca Machel Study Group appointed by the UN to study the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children.

Currently of the Commission on Globalization which is a non-governmental initiative that brings together new constellations of players, both advocates and dissenting voices, drawn from civil society, business and government, to consider innovative ways to bring about more equity, transparency and democracy in an ecologically sustainable global system.

Academic Achievements

Academic research and advocacy, influenced largely by Gandhian philosophy, have focussed on issues of equity, democratic decentralisation, peoplecentred development and women.s issues. Author of several books.

Has been a visiting fellow at Harvard University (Divinity School) ; Fulbright Scholar at Boston University (World Development Institute), University of Sussex (Institute of Development Studies) as well as Scandinavian Institute of Asian Studies.

She was conferred an Honorary Doctorate at the University of Durban, West Ville for her contribution to international development.

Distinguished Lectures

  • Bradford Morse Memorial Lecture - Beijing 1995
  • Nita Barrow Memorial Lecture - Barbados, University of West Indies - 1999
  • Lecture to Board of Directors, Mac Arthur Foundation Chicago
  • Lecture to Board of Directors, UNDP, New York

One of the two women awarded the Bradford Morse Memorial Award . by the UNDP at the World conference at Beijing for outstanding achievements through professional and voluntary activities in promoting the advancement of women and gender equality.

International Conferences Attended

  • Women, 1975, Mexico/Copenhagen-1980/ Nairobi-1985/Beijing-1995, Beijing + 5, New York 2000.
  • UN Research on Women, DAWN, UNESCO, ILO, FAO, UNSO, ESCAP, UNFPA, APDC, WHO, Social Summit Preparation Committee 1993-94, Social Summit Copenhagen 1995, Geneva Social Summit + 5, 2000, State of the World Forum, September 2000 (About 20)
  • Academic : Several-USA, Europe, Latin America, South Asia, South East Asia, Australia, Pacific Islands, Caribbean Islands, Africa - about 30.

Current Organisational Affiliations - National

  • Member, Research Advisory Committee, Institute of Applied Manpower Research (IAMR), New Delhi
  • Member, Academic Advisory Committee, Women.s Studies, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Delhi
  • Trustee of BETI Foundation, Lucknow
  • Trustee, Institute of Social Studies Trust, Delhi
  • Trustee, Singamma Sreenivasan Foundation, Bangalore
  • Managing Committee, Zakir Hussain College Memorial Trust, New Delhi

Current Organisational Affiliations - International

  • International Network of Engineers and Scientists (INES), (Current Secretariat, Hamburg, Germany)
  • International Committee for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, Washington, USA.
  • Member, Review Committee, UNDAF 1998 and 2001
  • Editorial Board .World Development.
  • Advisory Panel of UNDP_HDR 2002
  • Advisory Committee, SAHDR, Mehboob Ul Haq Centre for HumanDevelopment, Islamabad