Remembering Arjun Kumar Sengupta

Professor Arjun K. Sengupta, a core member of HUREP and a Visiting Professor at SUM, passed away recently in New Delhi. He was 73. Arjun was a pioneer in the field of human rights and development and we have fond memories of our long collaboration with him.

Arjun Sengupta was a renowned development economist, a noteworthy development thinker, a dynamic politician and a warm human being. He served, among numerous other appointments, as a special secretary to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, ambassador of India to the EU, member of the Planning Commission, member of the Indian Parliament, Director at the International Monetary Fund, UN Independent Expert on the Right to Development, UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty, Director of the Centre for Development and Human Rights in New Delhi, member of the UNDP Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor and chairman of the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector in India.


Arjun Sengupta possessed a rare combination of strong intellect, infectious enthusiasm and humour and genuine concern for the wellbeing of people living in poverty. In Norway, Arjun has been a towering source of inspiration to researchers and students at the University of Oslo and to practitioners in Norwegian development cooperation. At SUM, we especially treasure our memories of him in connection with his visiting professor position in the period 2007-2009, where he worked closely with the Human Rights and Extreme Poverty (HUREP) project. During his numerous visits together with his wife Jayshree, Arjun enlightened our work through interesting public lectures and sharp research guidance.

Our thoughts are with Jayshree, their daughter Mitu and all who worked closely with him. We miss him.

Tags: HUREP, Poverty and Development, Frontpage By Maren Aase
Published Sep. 28, 2011 3:43 PM - Last modified Jan. 31, 2012 10:12 AM