Harsha Vardhana Singh


As a research fellow at LIRNEasia, Harsha led a study which explored why adequate network backbone or access to it may not be available or provided, based on a case study of India. Since October 2005, Harsha has extensive experience as Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Geneva, Secretary cum Principal Advisor (2001 to 2005) and Economic Advisor (1997 to 2001) to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. He has been Consultant to various national and international organizations. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at the Centre for International Legal Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and has been Honorary Professor at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations and a visiting faculty member at the TERI University, New Delhi. He holds a PhD in Economics from Oxford University, UK.

Dr Singh is the Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Geneva, with direct responsibilities in the areas of agriculture, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade in services, trade and environment, and technical barriers to trade.  The WTO divisions that deal with these areas provide support to the committees and councils established to address WTO legal agreements pertaining to these topics. They also assist with negotiations, the dispute settlement process, provide technical assistance and capacity building services, carry out coordinated work with other international organisations or national research bodies, and conduct outreach activities.  His responsibilities also include e-commerce issues and certain administrative matters, representational participation in high level events/discussions, and coordinated work with other international organisations.

Dr Singh was with LIRNEasia from April to September 2005, conducting theoretical and empirical analysis of telecom policies to promote communication services in Asian nations.  This work complemented his experience with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, and resulted in the LIRNEasia paper “Asian Backbone Study: A General Model Applied to India”. “My work with LIRNEasia does not overlap with much of my subsequent job at the WTO.   However, my time at LIRNEasia was a very good intellectual experience,” says Dr Singh. “It gave me the opportunity to interact with a group of highly intelligent and informed people from diverse backgrounds, seeking better insights and productive ways to improve policies and make a positive contribution to social and economic objectives through the use of better regulatory policies and new technologies.”