Mahendra K Premi: A scholar whose work changed contours of Indian demography

Mahendra K Premi passed absent in the early morning of December 24, 2020, leaving guiding

Mahendra K Premi passed absent in the early morning of December 24, 2020, leaving guiding a prosperous legacy of rigorous function in empirical analysis and inclusive romance at Jawaharlal Nehru College. He taught and guided a huge range of students at the Centre for the Research of Regional Progress for over forty yrs. Other than making significant contribution in analysing and interpreting demographic improvements in the country in the context of world progress, he served a lot of colleagues like me have a suitable population point of view for building a framework for studies in regional progress.

I experienced not come across the surname Premi right before I fulfilled him and usually questioned if a person experienced given him or his ancestors this surname for the loving and affectionate attitude to all all over them. No matter whether it was Republic day, New 12 months day, Diwali, Dussehra or Eid, he was the particular person going for walks in the corridors of the Centre distributing sweets. With his standard Hindu track record, he showed incredible liberalism and at a relationship perform of a scholar of mine, held against all societal norms in a village in Haryana. Soon after Prof Premi’s text of blessings, a lot of of the Still left-leaning students tackled him as comrade Premi. I recall his being an important member in a variety committee for marketing of a colleague, not a Marxist scholar but sympathetic to a lot of of the positions like most of us at the Centre. A senior Leftist Professor of political financial system created an anxious enquiry from me if the particular person obtained the marketing and if Prof Premi’s presence created a change. I was stunned as I experienced read Premi eloquently praising his function in public and private and could never have imagined him but supporting his scenario.

In my random recollections, I stumble on two incidents – one particular in which he corrected all of us at the Centre and a further when I succeeded in shifting his place. A senior officer from the Census arrived to me seeking admission to the Centre and showed the letter of authorization from his business office. We talked over the make any difference in the college assembly considering whether we ended up exceeding the quota for this sort of admissions, academic report of this sort of candidates and whether their admission in the center of the academic calendar year served in pursuing major coverage analysis. Premi until then was the only particular person who experienced browse the letter of authorization and reported “but the prospect has been permitted only to attend sure classes as a relaxed scholar to which there can be no technical objection”.

Prof Premi experienced a program of loaning guides right after placing them in his register which I located cumbersome. Soon after a couple months I realised that I experienced loaned his guides to students and I did not recall to whom. We talked over the make any difference very seriously for some time and last but not least he resolved to give up the registration program.

His seminal contribution has been in places of city progress, migration, socio-economic profile of the country. This has been recognised as shifting the contours of Indian demography. He will be remembered for rescuing the self-control from the narrow confines of fertility, mortality and existence tables. He was the initially to attract my interest to the reality that migrants in huge towns are socio-economically better off than the non-migrants and we are not in a position to concentration interest on the lousy and vulnerable migrants owing the process of info technology by the Census and NSS.

Provided that the demographic concerns like delivery level, citizenship, relationship, etc, are coming to occupy the centre stage of political discourse, the country will pass up students like Mahendra K Premi.


Amitabh Kundu is Distinguished Fellow at the Study and Details Method for Building Nations around the world

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