Shri Chandra Shekharji’s association with the Institute had been long and a distinctive one. His concern about the influence exercised by the big business and large private corporations on the polity and his insistence on giving empirical content to the contemporary problems, instead of vaguely opposing or supporting a policy, brought him in close touch with the academics. He not only sought their advice but also suggested relevant lines of enquiry. The mutually beneficial interaction had profound influence on India’s industrial policy and thus had far reaching impact on the country’s industrial development.
No wonder, when the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development was set up in 1986, as a follow up to the Corporate Studies Group at the Indian Institute of Public Administration with the objective of conducting and promoting empirical research on India’s industrial and corporate sectors, Shri Chandra Shekhar gave wholehearted support to the endeavour. He, as Chairman of Centre for Applied Politics, became an ex-officio member of the ISID Board of Governors and along with leading academics and public men helped steer its functioning. When the Founder Chairman Professor Moonis Raza gave up the membership of the Board upon becoming the Chairman of ICSSR, in 1991, Shri Chandra Shekhar was the natural choice to don the mantle of ISID Chairmanship. Since December 6, 1991 and until he breathed his last on July 8, 2007, he had guided the Institute as Chairman with sagacity and helped it to progress from strength to strength and overcome occasional hardships.
He inspired many a young scholar at the ISID with his deep insights into the country’s problems and his disarming nature. On many occasions he sat with them, went through the documents and offered valuable advice. His being a social scientist and a national leader of a very high stature helped this process in no small measure.
In his passing away, the ISID has lost a major benefactor. His contribution to the Institute’s development will remain etched in the memories of all those associated with it.