Prof. S.K. Goyal
Vice-Chairman, Founder and Professor Emeritus
Professor S.K. Goyal is currently the Vice-Chairman and Professor Emeritus of the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID). He is also the founder-Director of ISID.
After obtaining Masters Degree in Economics from Punjab University, Dr Goyal was awarded doctoral fellowship at the Delhi School of Economics in 1957. His Ph D dissertation was on Cooperative Farming in India with special reference to Punjab. He was awarded doctorate degree in 1961 by the University of Delhi. Thereafter he joined Deshbandhu College and later Kirori Mal College of the University of Delhi as Lecturer in Economics.
Industrial and Trade Policies, Public Sector, Planning, Corporate Sector and Foreign Investments.
In 1965, Prof. Goyal was offered Readership in Economic Administration at the Indian Institute of Public Administration. Soon after joining IIPA, he was associated with the “Study Team on Machinery for Planning” at central and state levels, constituted by the Administrative Reforms Commission under the chairmanship of Shri R.R. Morarka (the then Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament of India). This provided him with the opportunity to visit most of the states and interact with senior civil servants, members of Parliament and officials of the Planning setup in the country. His continued sojourn at IIPA also gave him an opportunity to interact with large number of senior civil servants and gain firsthand knowledge of the intricacies of policy processes.
In the mid ‘sixties, at the request of the General Secretary of the Congress Party in Parliament, Prof. Goyal along with Prof. H.K. Manmohan Singh, Prof. V.B. Singh and Dr S.C. Gupta prepared a report examining the issue of Commercial Banking in India. This report became the basis for the decision by the Government of India for Nationalisation of fourteen private commercial banks, in 1969.
In 1967, Dr Goyal was appointed honorary Economic Advisor to the Industrial Licensing Policy Inquiry Committee constituted with powers of the Commissions of Inquiry. A large number of background papers were prepared and massive database was built around different aspects of industrialization and operations of the public sector financial institutions. He also supervised the conduct of nearly more than one hundred case studies on the Industrial Licensing System covering administrative sanctions, approval of collaborations and grant of financial accommodation in the form of loans, underwriting and guarantees sanctioned to the licensees.
In 1972, Prof. Goyal was invited by the Government of Iraq as Economic Advisor to their Planning Commission. The important contribution of Dr Goyal, along with Prof. S.R. Hashim, was preparation of a strategy document for Iraq’s Planned Development. He also helped the Ministry of Commerce to deal with problems of congestion at the Basra Port.
He also held a number of other key positions such as — Chairman, Indo-Dutch Programme on Alternatives in Development (IDPAD), ICSSR; Adviser, Parliamentary Committee on Railways; Member of the Board of Directors, National Small Industries Corp Ltd (NSIC); and Member, Governing Council, Small Industries Training Institute; Adviser to the Government of Uttar Pradesh on the restructuring of the sugar industry in the State, etc.
In 1976, Prof. Goyal returned to IIPA, and started concentrating on the large Indian corporate sector. This culminated in the establishment of the Corporate Studies Group (CSG). The reports prepared by the CSG drew wide attention in the press, the Parliament as well as the academic circles. Dr. Goyal directed a number of research projects relating to both the public and private sectors and guided the building of an extensive computerized database within the CSG. His maxim for the scholars at CSG was: “Build Your Colleagues”. He espoused the idea that social science research should have social relevance and purpose. It should not be used as means just to lengthen one’s bio-data nor should be only a showpiece of one’s knowledge of sophisticated techniques.
Dr Goyal’s empirical study on trends in concentration of economic power in India was published as a book titled “Monopoly and Public Policy: Business and Economic Power” by Allied Publishers in the late ‘seventies. At the request of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Bangkok, he prepared the study “Impact of Foreign Subsidiaries on India’s Balance of Payments”. This study was very widely quoted and discussed as this was the only empirical study on the functioning of the multinationals in India. There were several studies prepared by the CSG under Prof. Goyal’s direction and include Small Scale Sector and Big Business, Functioning of Industrial Licensing System and Comparative Performance of Public and Private Sector in India.
The CSG had indeed helped set a new trend in industrial policy research in India. Based on this experience, and following the recommendations of a Committee which reviewed the work done under the research programme, ISID was registered under the Societies Act to carry on the activities of CSG, with Professor Goyal as the Founder-Director. ISID came under the fold of ICSSR towards the end of 1987-88.
Under his guidance, a number of research projects encompassing foreign investments, international trade, corporate sector and public enterprises were conducted at the Institute. He had also taken the initiative to prepare the first-ever digitised map of Delhi and its colonies for use of the common man. He also caused the digitisation of an easy to use district-level map of India for depicting various socio-economic phenomena.
Yet another major achievement of ISID under his direction was the development of Online Index of Indian social science journals (OLI) and the Press Clippings Index (PCI). In his zeal to help the social science community and promote research on India-related issues, he had made these databases freely available to scholars the world over, through the Institute’s website. To cater to the needs of various categories of users, he published the indexes to major economic journals. Further, he had introduced what has come to be known as the ISID Research Reference CD which offered, besides OLI and PCI, a number of useful and often referred to policy documents and statistics.
During 1990-92 he was the Honorary Chairman of the Research Advisory Committee of the Planning Commission in the rank of a Cabinet Minister. While at the Commission, the National Informatics Centre (NIC) was under his charge. Under his guidance and motivation, NIC made long strides in introducing modern technology to social science institutions in India, especially those affiliated to the ICSSR.
Professor Goyal strived hard over the years to make ISID a self-sustaining institution while simultaneously not losing sight of the original objective of making it a centre of excellence on industrial policy research. This was particularly difficult because, unlike many ICSSR institutions, ISID did not have another active sponsor. The only other asset he had was his stature as a dedicated top ranking social scientist who did not shun public men for fear of being accused as “hobnobbing with politicians”. After attaining the age of superannuation, he relinquished the Directorship of ISID and started focussing intensively on his dream of giving ISID its own campus with all modern infrastructure. He is still leaving no stone unturned to make ISID an intellectual waterhole.