Rohini Nayyar Prize

About us

Nayyar Foundation for Social and Economic Purpose

Nayyar Foundation for Social and Economic Purpose (NAFSEP) is a not-for-profit philanthropic organization registered under Section 8 of Companies Act, 2013. The NAFSEP was formed in 2022 to support charitable and not for profit activities that foster inclusive social and economic  development activities in India.

Its first activity is the annual Rohini Nayyar Prize, of INR 10,00,000, to recognize young achievers in the field of rural development.

Board of Directors

Deepak Nayyar


Deepak Nayyar is Emeritus Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and an Honorary Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. He previously served as Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi, and Distinguished University Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research, New York. Earlier, he taught at the University of Oxford, the University of Sussex, and the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. He is Chairman of the Board of the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, and was Chairman of the Board of the World Institute for Development Economics Research, WIDER, Helsinki.

His professional life in academia has been interspersed with time in the world of public policy, as Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India and Secretary in the Ministry of Finance. He served as a member of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, as a member of the National Knowledge Commission in India, and as Vice Chairman of the South Centre, Geneva. He was educated at St. Stephen’s College and the Delhi School of Economics. Thereafter, as a Rhodes Scholar, he went on to study at Balliol College, University of Oxford, where he obtained a B. Phil and a D. Phil in Economics.

Professor Nayyar has published numerous articles and several books. His books include the best-selling Catch Up: Developing Countries in the World Economy and The Intelligent Person’s Guide to Liberalization, both of which have been translated into many languages. His latest books, Resurgent Asia: Diversity in Development and Asian Transformations: An Inquiry into the Development of Nations analyze the remarkable economic transformation, and rise, of Asia during the past half-century.

Dhiraj Nayyar


Dhiraj Nayyar is an economist who has worked in senior positions in the government, media and corporate sectors. At present, Dhiraj is Director, Economics and Policy at Vedanta Resources, where he is a member of the Group Executive Committee. He is also a columnist for Economic Times, Sunday Guardian and Indian Express. Before joining Vedanta as Chief Economist in 2018, Dhiraj was Officer on Special Duty and Head of the Economics, Finance and Commerce vertical at NITI Aayog, Government of India for three years. In this role, equivalent to Joint Secretary to the Government of India, he was responsible for all matters related to the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Commerce.

Dhiraj trained as an economist at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, Merton College, Oxford and Trinity College, Cambridge. After a stint teaching development economics at the University of Cambridge, he switched to journalism. He was Opinion Editor of The Financial Express, Deputy Editor of India Today, Editor-at-large of, India Columnist for Bloomberg View and Managing Editor of The Quint. He was also CEO of the Think India Foundation, a media active think tank. In 2013, Dhiraj was awarded a Bastiat Prize in journalism by the California-based Reason Foundation.

Dhiraj Nayyar is the author of Modi and Markets: Arguments for Transformation and co-author of The Innovation Republic. He has also edited two books, Surviving the Storm: India and the Global Financial Crisis and Dogs and Us: Collected Short Stories.

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