Prof V. N. Attri has occupied the position of Chair in Indian Ocean Studies (CIOS), Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) since November 2014. His duties are to foster research activities and studies in fields of interest to IORA with a view to evolving realistic programmes of regional cooperation. The areas of studies are Marine Resources, Trade and Commerce, Trade Liberalisation, Trade and Investment Facilitation, Sustainable Development, Science and Technology, and the Blue Economy. Prof Attri has, therefore, been contributing to all the six priority areas and two cross-cutting focus areas of IORA.
He is an eminent expert in International Trade and Investment, with a Post-Doctoral research in International Economics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), CA, USA as well as The George Washington University (The GWU), Washington, D.C., USA. He is a specialist in Economic Theory and Economic Philosophy, especially the theory of “Paradigm Shift.” Prof Attri has formerly worked as Professor and Chairman, Department of Economics, University of Kurukshetra, India and ICSSR Senior Fellow, Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Government of India. He has supervised more than 45 MPhil students and more than a dozen PhD scholars. He has published more than 75 research papers in Journals of national and international repute and participated in more than 35 International Conferences.
During the last 4 years during which he has worked with IORA, Prof Attri has emerged as an International Expert in Blue Economy. He conceptualised IORA’s flagship initiative on the cross-cutting focus area of Blue Economy, “The Blue Economy Handbook of the Indian Ocean Region”, published in collaboration with HSRC of South Africa in July 2018.
He also completed “The Study on Bilateral and Regional Trade and Investment related Agreements and Dialogues between Member States” in 2017; and is constantly working on strengthening regional cooperation in IORA through focus on Trade and Investment Facilitation; Tourism; Fisheries; Economic and Technical Cooperation; Blue Economy; Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); and Women Empowerment.
With a vision to promote inter-disciplinary research in Indian Ocean region (IOR), Prof Attri founded the Journal of Indian Ocean Rim Studies (JIORS) which was launched on the official IORA website in January 2017. The JIORS is the first and only online Journal of IORA, freely accessible to the public and follows the double-blind peer review mechanism for publication of papers.
Yet another noteworthy accomplishment is the 3-day training workshop on trade organised in collaboration with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and IORA Secretariat; the workshop immensely enhanced the capacity building in trade related issues within IORA.
Prof. Attri’s inputs and expertise on the Blue Economy have been solicited by The World Bank (External Reviewer of report entitled "Toward a Blue Economy: Pathways and Prospects for Bangladesh’s Investment in Sustainable Growth"); United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs(
UNDESA); universities/research institutions; various Governments of IORA Member States and Dialogue Partners as well as other countries.
He is also a member of the Working Group based on ‘National Blue Economy and Sustainable Development Policy’ spearheaded by the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India. He has also collaborated with the private sector, especially in designing business models for the Blue Economy; and his appointment by FICCI, India as a Member in the First Blue Economy Task Force in 2016 and the reconstituted Blue Economy Task Force (BETF) in 2018 are notable achievements.