Shankar Prasad Bhargava

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Shankar Prasad Bhargava FRSS Royal Economic Society[1] (1888-1962) was an Indian economist and the Director of Education for the princely state of Alwar. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society in 1921 (attached picture) [2] and was also a Fellow of the Royal Economic Society. He was a member of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute[3]


He was married to Asharfi Bhargava and had four children, 3 sons and a daughter. They were Govind Prasad (1912-1961), Rajeshwar Bhargava (1918-1940, tragically died of typhoid fever), Professor Krishna Prasad (KP) Bhargava (1925-1991) and daughter Hem Bhargava (1934-1991). He is the grandfather of Professor Balram Bhargava.


He was a Professor of Economics and acting principal of Sanatan Dharma College of Commerce in Cawnpore, United Provinces, British India from 1921-1929 (now Vikramajit Singh Sanatan Dharma College, Kanpur, India) [4]. Following which, he joined the Economic wing of the Political Department in Delhi (a department directly under the control of the Viceroy of India, which controlled the Princely States). In Delhi, he worked under V. Narahari Rao (the first Comptroller and Auditor General of India after Independence, 1948-1954). In 1933, the Political Department in Delhi overtook the administration of the Alwar State with its Prime Minister Francis Verner Wylie to govern it (later Sir Francis Verner Wylie, the last British governor of the United Provinces). V. Narahari Rao suggested Shankar Prasad (SP) Bhargava for the post of an educationist to assist with this restructuring. With the assent of Maharaja Tej Singh, the last ruler of Alwar State, SP Bhargava was appointed as the first principal of Raj Rishi College[5] and advisor to Alwar State economic matters. He was granted a tax-free salary of Rs 500 pcm with a fully furnished bungalow.

From 1933-1946, in Alwar as principal of Raj Rishi College and State economic advisor, SP Bhargava lived aristocratically, with a chauffeur driven car, immaculately dressed in the evenings and regularly playing tennis followed by bridge. However, he was a strict vegetarian and very religious, arranging many discourses over the Gita and Ramayana, by learned preachers from Delhi and Mathura. He was also a society member of ‘The Board of High School and Inter-mediate Education, Rajputana (including Ajmer-Mewara), Central India and Gwalior’ for supervising and regulating education in the princely states in 1934[1]. In 1941, during his tenure at Raj Rishi College, he was also appointed the State Census Superintendent for the State of Alwar and the Estate of Nimrana [6]. This census data was used for the partition of British India in 1947, although he did not believe that Pakistan would be created. One of his notable students was Ramesh Chandra Mody [7], a previous head for several all-India departments with the Reserve Bank of India; his son is Ashoka Mody a Professor of economics.


SP Bhargava had a stroke in 1946 and was bed ridden for the next 16 years till the end of his life in 1962 in Lucknow.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Retrieved September 7, 2021, from
  2. Proceedings of the Ninety-Third Annual General Meeting of the Royal Statistical Society, Held in the Hall of the Royal Society of Arts, on Tuesday, June 21, 1927. (1927). Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 90(4), 769-774. Retrieved August 23, 2021, from
  3. APPENDIX II: List of Members of the Institute. (1930). Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 12(4), V-Xvi. Retrieved September 7, 2021, from
  4. Retrieved September 7, 2021, from "Calendar for the Year 1928-1929". The Board Of High School And Intermediate Education. 1929.
  5. "Raj Rishi College,alwar".
  6. Census of India Vol. XXIV 1941- Rajputana & Ajmer-Marwara. Retrieved September 7, 2021, from
  7. Retrieved September 7, 2021, from "The Rise and Fall of the Princely State of Alwar | India of the Past".

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