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vrmMuraleedhran VR
Room No.: HSB 350
Phone : +91 (44) 2257 4506
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Current Position:
  • Professor of Economics (since 2000), Indian Institute of Technology (Madras);
  • Teaching at IIT Madras since July 1988.
Other responsibilities held in the past:
  • Head of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nov. 2004 – Feb.2011
  • Head, Centre for Sustainable Development, IIT Madras, 2002-04.
  • Coordinator, Development Studies Group, IIT Madras 2002 --2006.
  • Principal Coordinator, Lemelson-Recognition and Mentoring Programme 2004-06.
Education / Post Doctoral Experience:
  • M.A (Honours) Economics, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (India), 1981.
  • Ph.D. (Healthcare Economics), Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (India) 1988.
  • Post-Doctoral Research, Takemi Fellow in International Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston (USA), 1995-96.
  • Rockefeller Foundation Research Fellowship in History of Malaria, Rockefeller Archive Center (New York) May-June 1999.
  • Wellcome Trust Fellow in the History of Medicine: December 1998
  • South Asia Visiting Scholar, Center for International Development, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford, May-July 2000.
Research Interests:
  • Healthcare economics
  • History of Healthcare in India, and
  • Environmental Health Policy.
Teaching Experience:
  • Since 1988, I have taught students of B.Tech programme, Master of Arts and Doctoral Degrees at IIT Madras.
Courses taught at MA and BTech level:
  • Principles of Economics
  • Environmental and Resource Economics
  • Technology and Sustainable Development
  • Survey Methods and Report Writing
  • History of Economics
  • Economics of Health Care
  • International Trade and Finance
At doctoral level, I have taught the following courses:
  • Health Care Financing
  • Health Policy and Planning in Developing Countries
  • Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes
  • Technology and Colonialism
Research Guidance:
  • So far, 10 scholars have completed their doctoral work under my direct supervision.
Current and recently completed funded research projects:
  • Currently I am engaged in a five-year comparative research project on health economics and financing, funded by DFID (London), as part of a Consortium of 10 institutions (from India, Kenya, Tanzania, Thailand and South Africa), directed by Professor Kara Hanson of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Phase I of this project concluded by 2010. The Indian study was conducted in Tamil Nadu and Orissa (visit for details). Phase II of this project, which commenced in July 2011, will conclude by 2016.
  • Wellcome Trust for the History of Medicine (London UK), funded project on "History of Medical Institutions, Technologies, Diagnosis and Cures in Colonial South India" (Jointly with my colleagues at IITM). This project will be carried out during 2012-2015.
  • Good Health at Low Cost : Comparative study of five countries (funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, New York), in collaboration with London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (London, UK). (Completed in October 2011).
  • Private Public Partnerships in Health Sector: Round Table Discussion (with specific reference to Tamil Nadu State, India). Supported by the APAC-VHS-USAID (Chennai). Concluded in March 2012.
  • "Economic Analysis of Resource Requirements for Scaling Up HIV Interventions at the State Level" --- (in collaboration with Lorna Guinness and Lilani Kumaranayake, Health Policy Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, funded by the Wellcome Trust, UK), 2001-2004.
  • "Role of private providers and NGOs in TB control in Tamil Nadu and Kerala" (September 2005, supported by DFID, UK).
  • "Pollution, Public Health and Public Policy: a study of total exposure to environmental risks and morbidity in agricultural regions of Tamil Nadu" (October 2003- October 2005, funded by IIT Madras).
  • "Impact of Water and Sanitation Schemes on Child Health in Trippur Municipality (Tamil Nadu)" – December 03 – December 05, phase I) , funded by the Government of Tamil Nadu.
Select Research Publications:
  • Bennett S, Mills A and Russell S with Attanayake N, Hongoro C, Muraleedharan VR, and Smithson P. The challenge of health sector reform: what should governments do? (Macmillan Press, London, 2001).
Select Journal articles and Book Chapters (1987-2013):
  • VR Muraleedharan, "Rural health care in Madras Presidency: 1919-39", Indian Economic Social History Review. 1987; 24: 323-334.
  • VR Muraleedharan, "Professionalising Medical Practice in Colonial South India", Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 27 (4) 1992.
  • Muraleedharan VR, Veeraraghavan D. "Anti-malarial policy in the Madras Presidency: an overview of the early decades of the twentieth century" Medical History 1992;36 (3):290-305.
  • VR Muraleedharan "When is access to health care equal?" Economic and Political weekly, Vol 28 (Jan 1993).
  • VR Muraleedharan "Diet, Disease and Death in Colonial South India", Economic and Political Weekly Vol 29 (1) 1994.
  • V Sudhir, VR Muraleedharan and G Srinivasan "Integrated Solid Waste Management in Urban India: a critical operational framework" Socio-Economic Planning Sciences Vol 30 (3) 1996.
  • V Sudhir, VR Muraleedharan and G Srinivasan Planning for sustainable solid waste management in urban India, Systems Dynamic Review, Vol 13(3) 1998.
  • Muraleedharan V R "Technology and Costs of Medical Care: some emerging issues in India" in Barbra Harriss-White and S Subramanian (eds.) Ill-fare in India: essays on social sector in honor of S.Guhan (Sage University, New Delhi, 1999).
  • Muraleedharan V R and Sara Bennett, "New Public Management and health care in the third world", Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 35 no.1&2, Jan 8-14, 2000.
  • Muraleedharan V R "Quinine and the incurable malaria: India in 1930s" Parassitologia, 42 (1-2) June 2000).
  • Muraleedharan, VR "Cinchona Policy in British India: the critical early years", in Amiya K Bagchi and Krishna Soman (eds) Maladies, Preventives and Curatives: Debates in Public Health in India (Tulika Books, 2005).
  • Muraleedharan, V R, Stephen Jan and Ram Prasad "The human organ trade in Tamil Nadu: a case of regulatory failure" Health Economics, Policy and Law Vol 1 No 1 (2006).
  • Grace. A Chitra, V.R. Muraleedharan,. Swaminathan & D. Veeraraghavan. "Use of pesticides & its impact on human health: a case of farmers in South India" 2006. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, April 2006.
  • Umakant Dash, SD Vaishanvi, VR Muraleedharan and Debashsis Acharya, "Benchmarking the performance of public hospitals in Tamil Nadu: an application of data envelopment analysis", Jl of Health Management, 9 (1) 2007.
  • Nalin Kumar C and Muraleedharan VR "Sanitary and Phytosanitary Regulations and Competitiveness: an analysis of Indian spice exports" South Asia Economic Journal Vol 8 (2) 2007.
  • Nalin Kumar and VR Muraleedharan, "International market access and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) regulations: an analysis of trade and competitiveness effects", International Jl of Applied Business and Economics Research, 5(1) 2007.
  • Umakant Dash, VR Muraleedharan and SD Vaishnavi, "Technical efficiency in the use of health care resources: a case study of Tamil Nadu" Indian Economic Review, vol 43 (1) 2008.
  • Muraleedharan VR, Sonia Andrews, Bhuvaneswari R and Stephan Jan, "Private Public Participation in the Control of Tuberculosis in Tamil Nadu and Kerala", in KV Ramani, Dileep Mavalankar and Dipti Govil (eds). Strategic Issues and Challenges in Health Management, (Sage Publications, and IIM A, New Delhi, 2008).
  • David H Peters and VR Muraleedharan, "Regulating India's Health Services: To what end? and To what future" Social Science and Medicine (Special Issue on Future of Health Services), March/April 2008.
  • Umakant Dash, SD Vaishnavi and VR Muraleedharan "Technical Efficiency and Scale Efficiency of District Hospitals: A Case Study", Journal of Health Management, 12, 3 (2010): 231-248.
  • John P, VR Muraleedharan, T J Kamalanabhan and RD Thulsiraj, "Measuring determinants of employee satisfaction in an Eye Hospital: a study in India", International Journal of Enterprise Network Management 4(3), 2011.
  • K. Ganesh, S. Ganesh, T.T. Narendran, V.R. Muraleedharan "Drug inventory management at public healthcare institutions – a case study" Int. J. of Logistics Economics and Globalisation, 3 (2/3) 2011.
  • Muraleedharan VR, Umakant Dash and Lucy Gilson, "The Success Story of Tamil Nadu: 1970s-2005", in Dina Balabanova, Martin McKee and Anne Mills (2011), Good Health at Low Cost, 25 Years On: What makes a successful health system? (London, 2011).
  • S Rajasulochana, Umakant Dash and VR Muraleedharan, "Technical Efficiency and Scale Efficiency of Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and New Born Care Centres in Tamil Nadu", Artha Vijnana, LIII (4) Dec.2011.
  • Dina Balabanova, et al (co-authored by Muraleedharan), "Good health at low cost 25 years on: lessons for the future of health systems strengthening", The Lancet (April 8, 2013).
Select Research Monographs (1996-2011):
  • Muraleedharan, VR "Private Hospital Sector in Madras City: Some Preliminary Observations" (Takemi Fellow Working Paper, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Harvard University, 1996).
  • Muraleedharan VR "Competition and Costs of Medical Care" (Takemi Fellow Working Paper, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Harvard University, 1996).
  • Muraleedharan, V R and Sara Bennett, "Role of government in adjusting economies: a case study of reforms in Tamil Nadu health sector" (Research monograph, Health Economics and Financing Program, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, 1998).
  • Muraleeedharan V R "Characteristics and Structure of Private Hospital Sector in Urban India: A Study of Madras City" (Small Applied Area Research 5, Partnership in Health Reform, Abt Associate Inc. Bethesda, MD, and USAID, March 1999).
  • Muraleedharan V R "Availability, and Distribution of Medical, Dental, Nursing and Pharmaceutical Professionals in Tamil Nadu: a preliminary assessment (Phase I)" (research report submitted to The Tamil Nadu Dr.M.G.R.Medical University, May 1999).
  • Muraleedharan V R "Private-public partnership in Health Sector in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala", submitted to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (GOI) and World Bank, May 2000.
  • Muraleedharan V R "Public Healthcare System in Tamil Nadu: A critical overview of its strengths and weaknesses", background paper prepared for the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health-India Project, ICRIER, New Delhi, April 2001.
  • Muraleedharan V R "Tamil Nadu's Health Sector: a review of its achievements and challenges" (Submitted to Union Planning Commission, New Delhi, July 2002).
  • Muraleedharan V R, C.Sambu Prasad, G. Swaminathan, A Kavitha, G Koteswara Rao and D.Veeraraghavana, "Citizen Action, Water Pollution and Public Health: an analysis of administrative and implementation dimensions" (Submitted to Water Resources Organisation, Chennai, September 2002).
  • Muraleedharan V R, Preeti Kudesia and Maj-Lis Vass "Public Private Cooperation for Health in India: A Framework for Dialogue" (International Health Summit, November 2002).
  • Girija Sankaranarayanan and V R Muraleedharan, HIV/AIDS, Youth and NGOs in Tamil Nadu: An Overview", (Submitted to UNAIDS, Geneva, February 2003).
  • Muraleedharan VR. Private Health Care Sector in India--Policy Challenges and Options for Partnership. In: Yazbeck A, Peters D, editors. Health Policy Research in South Asia: Building Capacity for Reform. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank, 2003. pp. 229-55.
  • Muraleedharan V R and Ram Prasad "Regulation of Healthcare sector in Tamil Nadu: the case of Consumer Protection Act 1986, and Human Organ Transplantation Act 1994" (September 2003).
  • Muraleedharan V R "Informal healthcare providers in Tamil Nadu: A preliminary study of their characteristics and potential for participation in public health system" (Submitted to DANIDA, Chennai, November 2003).
  • Muraleedharan, V R, Sonia Andrew, Bhuvaneswari R and Stephen Jan "Role of Non-Governmental Organisations and Private Providers in the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme: a study on the implementation of private-public strategy in Tamil Nadu and Kerala (India)" (Submitted to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, April 2005).
  • BM Prasad and VR Muraleedharan, "Community health workers: a review of concepts, practice and policy concerns" (Working Paper, Consortium of Research on Equity in Health Systems, London, March 2008).
  • Umakant Dash, Debashis Acharya, V R Muraleedharan, Girija Vaidyanathan, "An Analysis of Efficiency of District Public Health Care System in Tamil Nadu and Orissa" (Submitted to the World Bank, New Delhi, April 2008).
  • Umakant Dash, V. R. Muraleedharan, B. M. Prasad, D. Acharya, S. Dash, S. Lakshminarasimhan, "Access to health services in under privileged areas, A case study of Mobile Health Units in Tamil Nadu and Orissa", (Submitted to DFID, UK, and Consortium of Researhc in Equity in Health Systems, London, October 2008).
  • VR Muraleedharan "Malaria and the Rockefeller Foundation in South India: 1936-41" (Upendranath Brahmachari memorial lecture at Burdwan University, December 2008).
  • Debashis Acharya, Girija Vaidyanathan, VR Muraleedharan, Upandand Pani, Umakant Dash and Vaishnavi SD, Do the Poor Benefit from Public Spending on Healthcare in India: Results from Benefit Incidence Analysis in Tamilnadu and Orissa (Submitted to DFID, UK, July 2009).
  • Umakant Dash and VR Muraleedharan, How Equitable is Employees' State Insurance Scheme in India?: A Case Study of Tamil Nadu (submitted to DFID, UK, September 2009).
  • Muraleedharan VR, et al, Private-Public Partnership in Health Sector : Opportunities and Challenges (submitted to USAID India, November 2011).
Consultant/Advisory Role:
  • I have served as a Member of the Mission Steering Group of the National Rural Health Mission (Govt of India).
  • I have worked closely with the governments of Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, and Planning Commission of India, Dept of Health and Family Welfare (New Delhi). He has served as member of sub-groups on Health, Planning Commission of India. He has also worked for national and international bodies such as DFID. I was a Member of Ethics Committee of Tuberculosis Research Centre (Chennai), Member of the National Course on Bio-ethics (ethics-economics module) supported by the Indian Council of Medical Research; He was member of the project on "Ethics in Social Sciences Research in Health" (supported by the Ford Foundation India, 2002).
  • Currently, co-Vice President of the Health Economics Association of India (established in May 2012), and serve as a Member on the Editorial Board of "Medical History", a journal published by the Cambridge University Press.
Other Educational Experience:
  • The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT M launched in 2006 an innovative integrated five year Master of Arts programme in three disciplines (English Studies, Economics and Development Studies). I was part of the team that designed this programme. Also, as the Head of the Department, I coordinated various activities during the first six years of this programme (2006 - 2011).