Prof. Jagdish Prakash, a legend in the field of Commerce and Management, a name which needs no introduction in the academic world, was born on 4th January, 1940. He had his early school education at Moradabad and Allahabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh. He did his Master in Commerce from Allahabad University in the year 1961 in first division and first position. He obtained his bachelor degree from the same university in first division and first position in 1959. He was awarded Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Best Student of the University of Allahabad in 1961. He also got first division in High School (1955) and Intermediate (1957) examinations of UP Board. He completed his D. Phil from University of Allahabad on Ministerial and Parliamentary Control over Public Enterprises in India under the able guidance of his mentor Late Prof. B. N. Asthana, Ex Vice-chancellor, Kanpur University in 1975.
He had made significant contributions to the Department of Commerce & Business Administration, University of Allahabad in his academic career spanning 39 years. Dr Prakash entered into teaching as Lecturer in the Department of Commerce & Business Administration, University of Allahabad in 1962. Later on, he became Reader and Professor in the same department. He has held the high offices of the Vice Chancellor of University of Allahabad, the offices of Pro Vice Chancellor, Director of Motilal Nehru Institute of Research & Business Administration, Dean- Faculty of Commerce, Head- Department of Commerce, Director of Agro Economic Research Center, Member of Executive Council, in University of Allahabad with great distinction.
He had assumed various responsibilities, such as the Member of Selection Committees, Research Degree Committees and Board of Studies of various Universities. He was also served as Secretary, All India Curriculum Committee by University Grants Commission. He was contributed as member of MOU panel, Department of Public Enterprises, Government of India and nominee Director of Uttar Pradesh Financial Corporation, Kanpur. He was also Honorary Secretary, Institute of Gandhian thought and Peace Studies. Prof Prakash was chaired a number of Committees and was also associated as a member of a large number of academic bodies including UGC. He had conducted around 20 Executive Development Programmes for industry.
He had contributed significantly to the discipline of Public Enterprise Management. With keen interest in the operation and functioning of public enterprises, Prof. Prakash was actively engaged in research regarding policy framework, governance and structuring of CPSUs. He was of the opinion that India’s economic development can take place only through a vigorous and dynamic public sector. His initiative to establish Institute of Public Enterprise Research (IPER) at Allahabad in 1986 has given new insights to policy makers and planners in reshaping the role of Public Enterprises in India.
The institute has carried on numerous research projects in this area. A few of them are ‘Financing of Projects for Allahabad’ submitted to World Bank and financed by UP Urban Development department and ‘Commercial viability of Sugar Mills in Eastern UP’ submitted to UP Sugar Factories Federation Ltd. The institute has organized a good number of symposia on emerging issues for public enterprises. The two notable national seminars organized by the institute are ‘Trade Unions and Industrial Relations’ supported by UGC, New Delhi and ‘Public Enterprises in 21st Century’ sponsored by AICTE, New Delhi.
His contribution as the managing editor of the research journal ‘Indian journal of Public Enterprises’ was nationally acclaimed. The journal was brought out by the IPER since 1986. Without any financial support from State owned agencies, he made sincere efforts to sustain this Journal for so long. This also testifies that his unflinching dedication and commitment to the cause of academics is unparalleled and beyond imagination.
He was an educationist and keen researcher in the field of the financial aspects of the Public Sector. He had delivered numerous invited talks and chaired various sessions at national and international conferences and seminars in the country. He had strengthened the research base of the department by guiding 38 candidates for their Ph. D degree in commerce and management. Almost all research works guided by him are in the field of public enterprises. By virtue of his encouragement, support and patronage; most of his students have contributed significantly in the field of public sector management, commerce and business management. At present, most of them are occupying prestigious positions in the reputed institutes/universities in the country and abroad.
He has published a good number of books and research papers on the issues of working, governance and effectiveness of public enterprises. A few of his academic contributions in terms of popular books are Administration of Public Enterprises in India, Public Enterprises in India: Control Aspects, Sickness in Public Enterprises, Privatization of Public Enterprises in India, Current Business Scenario in India, Cost Accounting, Management Accounting, Business Organization and Management, Auditing etc.
Dr. Prakash, who was taking every day as a new challenge always balances both his academic and professional life. All the students who were struggling, he used to give moral strength and courage to thwart their frustration. Dr Prakash was extremely knowledgeable, approachable, gracious, caring, supportive, patient, kind, welcoming, attentive, helpful, and encouraging personality. He was a down to earth person and took personal care and support to improve the teaching, research and writing skills of the younger teachers. He made each one feel special and respected their individuality. All his students pay their sincere regards and indebtedness to him for his valuable support in reshaping their personality. He was wonderful in teaching, research and administration. He also tried his best to give the best to his students in all these three spheres. His entire personality was very inspiring and motivational to me and for all his students.
Great persons inherit a cherished and great value system. Prof Prakash was no exception to this. Any visitor who visits his place was treated with the greatest honor and respect. He always used to see off all his guests by accompanying the guest to the gate. He used to extend similar courtesy to his younger colleagues and students. This is the greatest learning for all of us.
Unfortunately, he left this materialistic world on December 9, 2021. He left behind three gems as his sons- Dr Vimal Prakash, Dr Puneet Prakash and Dr Devesh Prakash. His wife, Smt Kusum Srivastava, always supported him in all his endeavors. She is Gurumata of that wonderful Gurukul.
May his soul rest in peace. I will always remain very indebted to my teacher for his guidance, support and shaping in my academic career. I submit my very sincere floral tribute to him. I pray to the Almighty God to give enough strength to his family members to overcome this huge loss.
A loss to many of us… a great human being and a fabulous teacher, will miss you sir.
 A modified version of my coedited book ‘Public Enterprises and Changing scenario.
[i] Vinay K Srivastava teaches at ITS Ghaziabad. Twitter: @meetdrvinay.
About Author: Vinay K. Srivastava
(Vinay K. Srivastava teaches Finance at ITS Ghaziabad. He recently published his next co-authored book – ‘Indirect Tax Reform in India: 1947 to GST and Beyond’. He may be reached at twitter @meetdrvinay)