Meheroo Jussawalla博士の訃報 [2012年07月31日（Tue）]
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Economist, Prescient Scholar of the Information Age
Meheroo Jussawalla, an economist of extraordinary talent and vision, overcame many barriers in her distinguished career. First, she challenged deeply-rooted prejudice against women scholars in India; then at what seemed a peak in her career, she had to leave it all behind because her economics were not sufficiently Marxist for Indira Gandhi. The second part of her career, however, was a triumph as a highly respected and scholar, teacher and advisor.
Dr. Jussawalla was one of the first classically trained economists to conceptualize communications as an important factor in model building for development. Studying with the late Wilbur Schramm, “the father of communications research,” she helped build “information economics” into a respectable branch of study in economics. She lived to see her work applied widely to the rapid IT-based development of the Pacific hemisphere.
She was born July 14, 1923 in Secunderabad in British India, the daughter of Sohrab (an attorney) and Pootli (a homemaker, maiden name, Chenoy) Dalal. Her father died in 1937. She married Framji Jussawalla (an executive engineer, deceased) in November 1945. She had two children, including a daughter, Prof. Feroza Jussawalla . She has a grandson, Hormuzdiyar Henry Dasenbrock.
Her academic career in India was brilliant. She was enrolled early in Madras University, one of few women, and the only one majoring in economics. Her formal education was marked by Senior Cambridge, First Division and Intermediate Arts, Madras University where she obtained her B.A. as Sturge Scholar and Gold Medalist for securing first rank in economics. She soon added her M.A. from Madras University and later her Ph.D. (Economics) from Osmania University.
Following partition of India in 1947, she took up a lectureship at Osmania U. in Hyderabad. She had two children, a son Sohrab and a daughter Feroza. Over a period of 18 years she held various posts at the prestigious Nizam College of the Osmania University: Lecturer in Economics, Reader in Economics, Professor of Economics and Chairperson of the Department of Social Sciences, Principal of the University College for Women, and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. This advancement was against the fierce resistance of male colleagues. She was at that time the only female professor at Osmania.
In 1957, in connection with a law providing U.S. aid to India, twenty Indian professors were selected for a year in the United States. She was the only woman included. During that period, she attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where she accumulated credits towards her Ph.D. at Osmania. The following years were also marked by a series of visiting appointments in the U.S. and elsewhere.
In 1975, her world suddenly changed. Mrs. Gandhi declared a state of emergency. By that time, Dr. Jussawalla was Dean at Osmania. She was in fear for her assets, her family and her person, because at that time Mrs. Gandhi was persecuting those whom she felt did not teach sufficiently Marxist economics. She was suspected of “capitalist leanings”.
In June 1975, she left India. Under Mrs. Gandhi’s orders, anyone leaving India at that time could not take with them cash or anything of value worth more than $6.00. She arrived with only with her books, lecture notes, and a few warm clothes. Fortunately, she had a cousin who lived in Utica, NY who came and got her at the airport.
Subsequently, she took a position at St. Mary’s College in Maryland, where she taught from 1975 to 1977. At that time, she applied for a position at the East-West Center in Honolulu, received a “green card” and was hired to join the EWC Communications Institute. She arrived in Hawaii in winter, 1977.
There she met and worked with a number of prominent communications scholars, such as Wilbur Schramm, known as the “father of communications studies”. She was challenged to combine her knowledge of economics with the emerging field of mass communications. She then commenced a prolific career, focusing initially on the relationship of information occupations to GDP. She blended economic and social factors in her models. She published some 15 books and over 100 articles on what came to be known as “information economics”.
At the East-West Center, she was the resident expert on the economics of telecommunications. She was so well known and influential that she received that rare tribute for outstanding scholars; in 1998 a “Festschrift” (a book in her honor), Communication and Trade: Essays in Honor of Meheroo Jussawalla, was published with chapters written by 19 leading scholars and experts in the field.
Upon her retirement in 1995, she was named Emerita Research Fellow in Telecommunications and Economics, and continued her research and publishing. At that time, Kenji Sumida, then President of the EWC, described her as “small of stature, very determined and highly productive of ideas.”
She was also an Affiliate Professor at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, where she held appointments both in Economics and Communications. Over the years she had many students who now represent a cadre of mature leaders in information and telecommunications in the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S., and throughout the world.
She was also active in serving her profession. She was an organizer of the first Pacific Telecommunications Council conference in 1978, and played a leadership role in the organization for over 30 years. In 2010, PTC named its annual award for best conference paper after her, and in 2011, she was the fourth person to receive the organization’s highest award, the Richard J. Barber Distinguished Service award.
She was active in the State of Hawai’i, and in her community, in civic and religious organizations. A Zoroastrian, she believed in peace and unity of religious beliefs. As the world becomes ever more driven by the Internet and information technology, the impact of her seminal role in information economics becomes ever more evident.