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Mr Desai is a Special Adviser to the UN for the World Summit on an Information Society and chaired the UN’s Working Group on Internet Governance. He is an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK and a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Global Governance at LSE.

He is on the advisory board of several international NGO initiatives including the organising committee for the World Science Assembly set up by the Royal Institution, UK and the Governing Council of the University for Peace, Costa Rica. In India he is an Honorary Professor at the Indian Council for Research in International Economic Relations, a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and a Trustee of the Delhi Policy Group.

He writes a monthly column for the Business Standard, an Indian daily. Mr Nitin Desai has had a long and distinguished career in the Government of India and the United Nations. In the Government of India Mr. Desai worked at senior levels in the Planning Commission from 1973 to 1987. His principal work there was in establishing and managing the system for the cost-benefi t analysis of public investment projects. He was also the Secretary of the National Commission on the Development of Backward Areas and a Member-Secretary of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister.

From 1988 to 1990 Mr Desai was the Chief Economic Adviser and Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance. Most recently he has been asked by the Planning Commission to chair a Committee on Venture Capital and Technology Innovation.