Professor Samuel Paul worked in the Economics Area from 27th May 1963 to 26th March 1984.
He was sent to Harvard Business School for the Teachers Training Programme as part of the second batch in 1964. In 1969, he was invited to come on board as Visiting Professor by the Harvard Business School. Prof. Paul was the second to hold the position of Director at IIMA from 8th September 1972 to 30th June 1978. In late 1978, he resigned from this post and applied for a leave of absence comprising a period of two years. He led a UN team of experts to advise the Government of Nigeria on management development—an offer from the International Labour Organisation. He rejoined IIMA in mid-1981 as a Professor and later resigned on 26th March 1984 to join the World Bank in Washington, USA.
Prof. Paul was born in Niranam, Kerala. In 1942, he was sent to MT Seminary High School, a boarding school in Kottayam, Kerala. He completed his graduation from the Madras Christian College in Tambaram. With a mind shaped primarily for academics, Prof. Paul began his extensive and successful career in teaching at the Union Christian College at Aluva in Kochi post which he received an American Scholarship to study abroad aided by a recommendation from the Metropolitan of the Church. He then went on to pursue a PhD in Economics from the Maxwell Graduate School of Public Affairs, Syracuse University, USA.
A seasoned academician, Prof. Paul soon began to lay the foundations of his career. He taught at the Kennedy School of Government and at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs, Princeton University. Upon his return from Washington to India, he pioneered the creation of citizen report cards— a tool for bringing in transparency and social accountability to government bodies at the local level. He later went on to be the founding Chairperson of a new think tank, the Public Affairs Centre (PAC)—an NPO with a mandate to improve the quality of governance in India. Other organizations that he helped launch include the Public Affairs Foundation, the Coalition against Corruption and the Children's Movement for Civic Awareness. He also held a position on the board of the State Bank of India along with several other boards including the Industrial Finance Corporation of India
In much more recent years, Prof. Paul’s focus had been on public governance and other related issues. He was the first Asian to be awarded the Jit Gill Memorial Award by the World Bank in 2006. Prof. Paul was also the recipient of the Fred Riggs Award of the American Society of Public Administration. Besides this, he was also presented with the Nohria Award by the All India Management Association. Most notably, the Government of India honored Prof. Paul with the Padma Shri in 2004.
Prof. Paul was a great consolidator and institution builder. He was very focused and committed to the cause and purpose of the Institute in its first decade. In the creation of an active Public Systems Group, his innovative approaches towards Institution building remained significant. He believed and spoke extensively on various aspects of IIMA's governance challenges. Prof. Paul spoke extensively on sustaining the culture of academic freedom and excellence that Prof. Ravi Mathai had so carefully institutionalized at IIMA before him in his speech at the Golden Jubilee Celebrations at IIMA.
Prof. Paul had authored and coauthored several books on education, economics, development and governance. His notable books include Managerial Economics (coauthor), McGraw Hill, 1977; Managing Development Programs: Lessons of Success, Westview Press (USA), 1982; Strategic Management of Development Programs, ILO, Geneva, 1984; Corruption in India: Agenda For Action (coauthor), Vision Books, Delhi, 1997; Holding the State to Account, Books for Change, Bangalore, 2002; Who Benefits from India's Public Services (coauthor), Academic Foundation, Delhi, 2006; The State of Our Cities (coauthor), Oxford University Press, 2012; Samuel Paul: A Life and Its Lessons (Memoirs), PAC, Bangalore, 2012; Fighting Corruption: The Way Forward, Academic Foundation, Delhi, 2013 and The Paradox of India's North South Divide (coauthor), Sage, Delhi, 2015.
Prof. Paul personified simplicity. A striking aspect to this brilliant mind and mentor was the fact that he was always very gentle in his approach. He inspired many with his style of walking and speech. Always unique in his fashion of greeting, his presence was felt everywhere at IIMA including the badminton court as per his colleagues. Innovation ran through his blood and ideas were as essential to him as daily necessities. Prof. Paul is remembered as a selfless person—one who was an inspiration to many. He understood leadership as not necessarily aristocratic and pushy but rather as a tool to set up good governance and allow the community to take on ownership of governance.
Prof. Paul was 85 years old at the time of his passing when he was survived by his wife Lily Paul and three children Annie, Mohan and Neena.
Date of Birth: 11th April 1930
Date of Death: 26th October 2015
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