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Atul Singh

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Atul Singh
Atul Singh.jpg Atul Singh.jpg
BornGoa, India
🏳️ NationalityIndia
💼 Occupation
Journalist, Political Scientist, Author, Orator, Professor

Atul Singh is an Indian-born former lawyer, university lecturer, and the founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of Fair Observer.[1]

Before launching Fair Observer, Singh worked in finance and law, as a corporate lawyer in London for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, advising Goldman Sachs.[2] The idea of creating a global news analysis company solidified while attending the New York Global Media Summit in 2010.[3]

He is an outspoken advocate for the free press and its critical role in a representative democracy. He often delivers thought-provoking speeches at various universities and corporate gatherings. On 10 September 2012, Singh spoke as a panelist at the United Nations' "Future of Newspapers" debate.[4] In August 2016, he gave a talk at Google on "The Global Rise of Far Right" three months before Donald Trump got elected.[5] In February 2018, he delivered a talk at Oxford University Society Paris Branch on "The Role of the Fourth Estate in the Era of Demagogues."[6]

Singh completed his MBA from Wharton School in 2010 with a triple major in Entrepreneurship, Finance and Strategy. He gave an interview on Leadership in Action to Wharton Business Radio on 26 January 2018, India's 69th Republic Day in which he said, “My father gave me four children's history books to read - Indian, British, Soviet and American and I found that there were four different narratives of the Indian uprising of 1857. I wondered which one of them is true. This exposure made me aware early on that there were more things in heaven and earth than in any one philosophy.”[7]

The White House Chronicle in February 2012 quoted him as criticising the lack of "conversation" in US debates and the need for Americans to develop a "feel for oral words."[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Singh was born in Vasco da Gama, Goa. He studied English Literature and History at Lucknow University in India, after which he served as an officer in the Indian Police Service (IPS). While in the IPS, he participated in high-altitiude operations with the Indian Army and the Border Security Force in Kashmir, and served in Tuli and Tuensang, two remote and volatile places in the Indian border state of Nagaland.

Singh left India in 2001 to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University as a Radhakrishnan British Chevening Scholar. After Oxford, Singh studied at the BPP Law School in London. He went on to work as a lawyer with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, an international law firm. He subsequently moved to the US to study at the University of Pennsylvania where he completed his MBA from Wharton School in 2010 with a triple major in Entrepreneurship, Finance and Strategy.[9]


Fair Observer[edit]

In 2010, Singh founded Fair Observer LLC with Wharton classmate Fabian Neuen (former COO) who was an exchange student from INSEAD, Europe's leading business school. Fair Observer gained attention as one of Forbes' "Audacious Startups By South Asian Entrepreneurs".[10] San Francisco Business Times states, "The online-only media company focuses on analysis of international issues".[11] As per India West, Singh seeks to close the gap in the conventional media system by providing non-biased information.[12]

In 2013, Fair Observer the nonprofit corporation was launched following the closure of Fair Observer LLC. Singh partnered with Abul-Hasanat Siddique and Anna Pivovarchuk, among others, to found the nonprofit. Fair Observer's model is built on crowdsourced[12] journalism. It focuses on providing diversity and debate on global issues.


Singh taught Political Economy at the University of California, Berkeley where his course Political Economy 101 was recommended by Natchapol Praditpetchara of The Daily Californian.[13] Singh also teaches Modern World History, World Classics, and Global Political Economy at IIT Gandhinagar.[14] Singh conducted the 2016 Voices of the World Program at IIT Gandhinagar “to inspire the students to focus on the real issues that people are facing such as lack of water, poor health and poverty eradication.” Sandeep Pandey found the program “very useful for students as it made them think.”[15] He was a keynote speaker at IIT Bombay Alumni Association Greater New York Chapter Annual Reunion 2017 where he said, "I was under-educated in India as I studied humanities, English literature and history at the University of Lucknow. When I went off leaving the IPS to Oxford, I was over-educated and was brutalized and traumatized by none other than Michael Hart, the chap who also taught David Cameron. It was a one-on-one, one-on-two tutorial system, so there was no place to hide." [16]

Analyst, speaker and commentator[edit]

He has spoken on US-India relations at American University for the Kennedy Political Union Speaker Series.[17]

Singh is also a contributor for the Huffington Post and columnist for Al Jazeera.[18][19] He was a guest speaker for the Harvard India Conference in March 2012. He is a recurring speaker at MIT Entrepreneurs Club and at American University, where he has given speeches for Sally Shelton-Colby.[20]

Global economy and economics[edit]

Singh has given a TEDx talk at BITS Pilani, Goa campus on "Economics is an Art, Not a Science".

He has spoken as an economics commentator for RT-TV about the possibility of a double dip recession where he discussed the US employment rate and the long term structural changes that are essential for the US to emerge from the recession.[21][22] He gave a speech about "The Structural Roots of Poverty" at the Yale MacMillan Center for their Global Justice Program on 15 February 2013.[23]

Foreign policy and international affairs[edit]

Singh writes the column "The World This Week" for Fair Observer in which he analyzes the most important global issue, event or trend for the week. His columns have been republished by other publications such as The News Minute[24] and Daily News and Analysis (DNA).[25]

Singh regularly interviews on the television, radio and print. In 2015, he interviewed with the Annenberg Media Center of the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism of the University of Southern California on the Middle-East, the US-Iran nuclear deal, the Islamic state, the Russian involvement in Syria, the troubled US-Saudi relationship and the role of money in the US elections.[26] Later in 2015, he was invited by Manthan, a forum for public discourse, to give a talk on "A New World: The Changing Balance of Power".[27]

Singh has spoken with Congressman Ami Bera in an event in California on the world economy.[28]

In an interview "One on One" with Giverson Maina on Kenya Television Services (KTS), Singh expressed his views on globalization, the Africa, US and more. In March 2017, he also gave a talk at Shailesh J Mehta School of Management at IIT Bombay on the "Insights for India from Africa".

Media and democracy[edit]

Singh has consistently argued that the decline of discourse is endangering democracy and damaging society. In 2013, Singh passionately argued for the nonprofit model of journalism in an article on Huffington Post titled, "Media Should Not Make Money". He pointed to the example of Silvio Berlusconi and Italy, reminding his readers that "media decline is a global trend." He was invited by IVY to give a seminar on "How to rebuild democracy in 21st century" along with former CIA agent Glenn Carle.[29] He gave an interview about "Populism, Media and Economy" to Zak Enzminger of IVY magazine in August 2017.[30] He gave a talk on “Making Sense of the World: Why Discourse Matters and Why Discourse Must Now be Global” at Ithaca College.[31] He has spoken on media in the age of the internet in Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico.[32] In February 2018, he gave a talk on "The role of the Fourth Estate in the era of demagogues" for the Oxford University Alumni Network in Paris.[33]

Singh started Fair Observer, "to inform and educate global citizens of today and tomorrow" through deep and explanatory journalism with plurality of perspectives.[34] He believes that at time of "increasing inequality and environmental degradation" the destinies of over 7 billion people are increasingly intertwined. Therefore, the story of the world "is too big, too complex and too important to be monopoly of any narrow group." Singh argues that "the story of the world has to be told by the world itself." Spanish newspaper El Mundo published an article on him in June 2012.[35] Singh gave an interview about Fair Observer to Yessi Bello Perez of The Breaker in 2013.[36]


In 2015, Singh gave an interview detailing on the shortcomings of India in its path to modernisation. He spoke out against obsolete colonial-era laws, blaming them for the lawlessness and weakness of public institutions. He identified India's shortage of skilled workers as a key drag on its economy. He attributed this shortage to the continuation of a predominantly colonial-era education system, saying that "Indians have internalised Macaulay". He was also critical of India's private sector for their short-term planning and advocated for deeper India-China bilateral relations.[37]

Dr. Kiran Bedi and Singh organized an inter-disciplinary group that has penned an 11-point agenda for police and criminal justice reforms for the Indian Prime Minister.[38] They argued for urgent reforms to bring about the rule of law, in an article they co-wrote together.[39]

Singh has co-written an article with Manu Sharma analyzing the Union Budget 2018 of the Indian Government which was republished by Newslaundry and The News Minute that coined the term Sanatan Socialism.[40] Singh was ranked among the 11 Indians who have made their mark on the global corporate world by DNA India.[41]


Singh's first major article on Africa was his obituary of Nelson Mandela.[42] Singh co-wrote Africa This Month from January 2016 with Samuel Ollunga.[43]


Singh has lived in the US since 2008 and he is concerned about the divisions and partisanship in its society.[44]

He spoke at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard on American democracy in the age of Donald Trump.[45] He appeared on India's WION television in February 2017 and talked about Donald Trump's increase in US defense budget.[46]

US-India relations[edit]

Singh delivered the Kennedy Memorial lecture at American University in 2011.[47]

Singh argues that geopolitics, economics and culture are bringing USA and India together.[48]


Singh studied Modern British Politics under Dr. Michael Hart in Oxford and follows British Politics closely. When David Cameron won the 2015 general election, Singh argued that "a new era of fragmentation has dawned in the island’s politics."[49] In 2018, Singh authored a chapter on Brexit in the book Populist Nationalism in Europe and the Americas by Fernando López-Alves and Diane E. Johnson. He analysed numerous historic as well as contemporary reasons for the vote, positing it as an instance of "Anglo-Saxon populist nationalism" along with the election of Donald Trump.[50]


  1. "About Us". Fair Observer. Archived from the original on 2014-03-28. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  2. "LinkedIn profile of Atul Singh". Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  3. Yessi Bello Perez (8 November 2013). "Fair Observer: The Future of Media". The Breaker. Media School, Bournemouth University. Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  4. "United Nations Academic Impact Hosts Debate on Future of Newspapers, 10 September". United Nations. Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  5. "Talks at Google | The Global Rise of the Far Right". www.google.com. Retrieved 2018-02-14.
  6. "Oxford Breakfast: "The role of the Fourth Estate in the era of demagogues", Atul Singh". www.oxfordinparis.com. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  7. Atul Singh on Leadership in Action, retrieved 2018-02-18
  8. "The Lost Art of Debate—and Other Wordy Topics". White House Chronicle. Retrieved 15 February 2013.[dead link]
  9. Springer, Richard. "Fair Observer Aims to Plug Gaps in News Analysis". India West. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  10. Prashar, Bhrigu Pankaj. "Audacious Startups By South Asian Entrepreneurs". Forbes. Archived from the original on 2013-04-27. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  11. Gardener, Jim. "Entrepreneur lays Economists end to end, reaches his own conclusion". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 4 August 2013. Archived 30 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  12. 12.0 12.1 Hinrichs, Lasse. "Neues Online-Magazin ‘Fair Observer’. Von Prominenz kann keiner leben" (07.2011). Die Tageszeitung. Retrieved 4 August 2013 Archived 2 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  13. "Satisfy your intellectual curiosities: classes to audit this summer".
  14. "Atul Singh | IIT Gandhinagar". www.iitgn.ac.in. Retrieved 2018-02-14.
  15. BilkulOnline.com. "Students learn to write on social issues at IITGN - Bilkul Online :". www.bilkulonline.com.
  16. Subodh Batra (2017-09-24), IITBAA-GNY Chapter. Annual Reunion, 2017, retrieved 2018-03-02
  17. Jenni, Muns (12 June 2011). "News editor Atul Singh pushes for stronger education system". The Eagle. American University. Archived from the original on 2012-11-15. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  18. Singh, Atul. "Chasing the great American dream". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 2014-01-02. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  19. Singh, Atul. "Atul Singh Huffington Post Contributor". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 2013-12-20. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  20. "Atul at American University". YouTube. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  21. "The 3 Minute Download: Jeff Manber, Cyrus Safdar and Atul Singh". Youtube. Archived from the original on 2010-08-03. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  22. "Goldman: US economy to become "fairly bad" or "very bad"". RT TV. Archived from the original on 2012-04-14. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  23. "The Structural Roots of Global Poverty" (PDF). Academics stand.
  24. Singh, Atul. "Yes, nuclear terrorism is a real threat the world over". The News Minute. The News Minute. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  25. Singh, Atul. "The World This Week: Donald Trump is Scary, Ted Cruz is Terrifying". Daily News Analysis.
  26. "The Hot Seat: Journalist And Professor Atul Singh (Video)". Neon Tommy. Annenberg Media Center.
  27. "A New World: The changing balance of power by Atul Singh". Manthan India. 20 November 2015.
  28. "Connect and Engage with Congressman Ami Bera and Newsman Atul Singh". Tie Socal. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  29. "BOS Seminar - Atul Singh & Glenn Carle @ WeWork Back Bay". IVY: The Social University.
  31. "Making Sense of the World: Why Discourse Matters and Why Discourse Must Now be Global". Ithaca College.
  32. Atul Singh (2018-01-29), Media in the Age of the Internet, retrieved 2018-02-18
  33. "Oxford Breakfast: "The role of the Fourth Estate in the era of demagogues", Atul Singh". www.oxfordinparis.com. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  34. Singh, Atul. "About Us". Fair Observer.
  35. "En busca del próximo Steve Jobs: vivir en una incubadora en Silicon Valley". El Mundo.
  36. Perez, Yessi Bello. "Fair Observer: the future of media". www.thebreaker.co.uk.
  37. "India's Long Quest for Modernity". Fair Observer. 2015-09-22. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  38. "An actionable agenda for police reforms". Hindustan Times.
  39. "Above All, India Needs Rule of Law - Fair Observer". www.fairobserver.com. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  40. "India enters the era of Sanatan Socialism". The News Minute. 2018-02-10. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  41. "11 Indians who have made their mark in the global corporate world". DNA India.
  42. "Mandela: Gandhi's Heir and Africa's Greatest Son (Part 1/3) - Fair Observer". www.fairobserver.com. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  43. "Author archive: Samuel Ollunga". Fair Observer.
  44. "The World This Week: Dallas Shines Light on America's Dark Soul - Fair Observer". www.fairobserver.com. Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  45. "American Democracy: In the Age of Donald Trump". cohoevents.
  46. "Trump's 'historic' defence budget and more (WION Gravitas)". You Tube.
  47. "Atul Singh at American University". You Tube.
  48. Singh, Atul. "India, U.S. ties hinge on three key factors". The Sunday Guardian. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  49. Atul, Singh. "The World This Week: Devils Known and Unknown". Fair Oberver.
  50. "Populist Nationalism in Europe and the Americas: 1st Edition (Paperback) - Routledge". Routledge.com. Retrieved 2018-12-06.


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