Pratap Bhanu Mehta

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Pratap Bhanu Mehta
Pratap Mehta at the India Economic Summit 2009 cropped.jpg
Mehta speaking at the World Economic Forum's India Economic Summit 2009
Born 1967
Residence India
Nationality Indian
Alma mater St John's College, Oxford
Princeton University
Scientific career
Fields Political Science
Institutions Vice-Chancellor of Ashoka University

Pratap Bhanu Mehta (born 1967) is an Indian academic. He was the president of the Centre for Policy Research, a New Delhi-based think tank.[1] The Centre for Policy Research is one of India’s most distinguished think tanks. He was a Professor at NYU Law School’s Global Faculty. He has previously Visiting Professor of Government at Harvard University; Associate Professor of Government and of Social Studies at Harvard, and for a brief period, Professor of Philosophy and of Law and Governance at Jawaharlal Nehru University. He became the Vice-Chancellor of Ashoka University on July 1, 2017.[2] He has been described as "one of India’s more thoughtful intellectuals."[3]

Early life[edit]

Pratap was born in a Jain family.[4] Mehta obtained a B.A. from St John's College, Oxford in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and a Ph.D in Politics from Princeton University.


Mehta has also done extensive public policy work[citation needed]. He was Member-Convenor of the Prime Minister of India's National Knowledge Commission; Member of the Supreme Court appointed Lyngdoh Committee on Indian Universities and has contributed to a number of reports for leading Government of India and International Agencies. He was on the Board of Governors of IDRC. He was Vice-Chair of the World Economic Forum's Council on Global Governance. He has also served on the Board of NIPFP, NCAER and NIID. He is also on the Editorial Board of numerous journals including the American Political Science Review and Journal of Democracy.

Mehta has published widely in the fields of political theory, intellectual history, constitutional law,[5] politics and society in India and international politics.[6] His scholarly articles have appeared in leading international referred journals in the field, as well as numerous edited volumes. His early work was on eighteenth century thought, particularly on Adam Smith and the Making of the Enlightenment.[7] He has also written on issues of Cosmopolitanism, Liberalism, Rights, Judicial Review, International Governance and Democratic Theory. His most recent publications include, The Burden of Democracy and an edited volume India’s Public Institutions. He is also a member of the group that produced Non-Alignment 2.O (Penguin 2013) and co editor of Shaping the Emerging World: India and the Multilateral Order (Brookings Press, 2013). He is also co editor (with Niraja Jayal) of the Oxford Companion to Politics in India. He is a recipient of several awards. He won the Malcolm S. Adisheshiah Award for Social Sciences in 2010, the prestigious Infosys Prize in 2011 and the Amartya Sen Award for Social Science, 2013. The Jury for the Infosys Prize, Chaired by Amartya Sen gave the following citation: "Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta has established himself as one of India’s finest scholars and public minds, who has inspired a new generation of intellectual enquiry. He has contributed not only to political philosophy and social theory in general, but has also addressed urgent issues of Indian politics and public policy. Mehta has shown an exemplary willingness to broaden the sphere of public reason and to challenge reigning orthodoxies, while remaining committed to institution building, as exemplified by his constructive leadership of the Centre for Policy Research." Mehta is a participant in public debates in India and abroad and has written columns for national and international dailies, including the Indian Express, Hindu, Financial Times. Several leading dailies have named him amongst India's most influential opinion maker. He is an Editorial Consultant to the Indian Express. He resigned from the National Knowledge Commission following a disagreement over Higher Education Policy.[8][9][10][11]


Mehta resigned from the National Knowledge Commission in protest against the UPA government's Higher Education Policies.[12]

Selected works[edit]

  • The Oxford Companion to Indian Constitution, edited with Madhav Khosla and Sujit Choudhary, Oxford University Press
  • Shaping the Emerging World: India and the Multilateral Order (ed. with W. P. Sidhu and Bruce Jones) Brookings, 2013
  • Non Alignment 2.0 (with Sunil Khilnani et al.) Penguin (2013)
  • The Oxford Companion to Politics in India edited by Niraja Jayal & Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Oxford University Press
  • Public Institutions in India: Performance and Design edited by Devesh Kapur & Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Oxford University Press (2005)
  • The Burden of Democracy by Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Penguin (2003)


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Pratap Bhanu Mehta to leave CPR, join Ashoka University as vice chancellor". Live Mint. 
  3. ^ Max Rodenbeck (22 July 2017). "Why India and Pakistan hate each other". The Economist. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  4. ^ "Tyranny of identity by decree". 
  5. ^ "Small step, no giant leap". 
  6. ^ "Lingayat leap of faith". 
  7. ^ Mehta, Pratap Bhanu. The Natural Career of the Imagination: Themes in Adam Smith's Moral and Political Philosophy. PhD dissertation, Princeton University, June 1994; cited in The Enlightenment of Sympathy: Justice and the Moral Sentiments In The Eighteenth Century And Today,2010, by Michael L. Frazer and "Self-Interest and Other Interests” The Cambridge Companion on Adam Smith, cited in “Adam Smith’s System of Natural Liberty and the Gravitational force of the Self-interest Socially Understood”, paper by Fabio Monsalve, 15th Annual Conference of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought (ESHET), Istanbul, 2011,;,38; Hukum Ham Internasional 2010 by Pranoto Iskandar of the Institute of Migrant Rights, The Science of Wealth: Adam Smith and the Framing of Political Economy, 2009, by Tony Aspromourgos. Other Works:Mehta, Pratap B. “Liberalism, Nation, and Empire: The Case of JS Mill”. paper presented at the American Political Science Association, 1996; cited in A Turn to Empire: The Rise of Imperial Liberalism in Britain and France , 2005 by Jennifer Pitts and “After Colonialism : The Impossibility of Self- Determination” in Colonialism and Its Legacies, 2011, by Jacob Levy
  8. ^ Pratap Bhanu Mehta articles in Outlook
  9. ^ Pratap Bhanu Mehta page in Indian Express
  10. ^ The India Lectures: Distinguished political scientist Pratap Bhanu Mehta on India’s Great Transformation
  11. ^ Pratap Bhanu Mehta : Centre for Advanced study of India
  12. ^

External links[edit]