Punjab’s woman finance minister is professor, author

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

CHANDIGARH - Probably the only woman to be finance minister of an Indian state, Punjabs new finance minister Upinderjit Kaur holds a doctorate in economics, has been a professor at Patialas Punjabi University and has authored two books.

Prior to joining active politics, Kaur was teaching economics at Punjabi University, Patiala, 70 km from here. She served as full-fledged professor in Economics, head of department of Economics and director of correspondence courses between 1965 and 1994.

She has also taught economics at Sydney University, Australia, in 1974.

She has guided 26 students in M.Phil (Master of Philosophy) and Ph.D (Doctor of Philosophy) degrees in Economics.

Earlier, she also worked as principal of Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Sultanpur Lodhi in Punjabs Kapurthala district.

Elected to the Punjab Assembly in 1997, 2002 and 2007, she is the daughter of former Punjab minister and Akali Dal leader (late) Atma Singh. She represents the Sultanpur assembly constituency.

She became a cabinet minister in Punjab in February 1997 and held the portfolio of Technical Education and Industrial Training, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Housing and Urban Development.

In the present government headed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Upinderjit Kaur held the portfolio of Education (School Education, Higher Education & Languages), Civil Aviation, Vigilance and Justice. She has now been made the finance minister, replacing Manpreet Singh Badal.

She has authored two books related to economics - “Development of Theory of Demand” and “Sikh Religion and Economic Development”.

Manpreet Singh Badal, a nephew of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, was sacked from the Punjab cabinet after his statements on doing away with subsidies and freebies, like free power to farmers, and Punjab’s finances and debt write-offs offered by the central government, brought him in confrontation with the party’s policies and leadership.

Filed under: Politics

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