Oxford: Extending support to India’s Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, The Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Lord Chris Patten said he should be the next Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Speaking at the launch event of the Sanjaya Lall Visiting Professorship of Business and Development at the Said Business School on Friday evening, Patten said he had "nothing against Christine Lagarde" – the French finance minister currently in the running for the job – but wished Ahluwalia to be the next IMF Managing Director.

During the recent visit to Africa, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh mooted the idea that the next head of IMF should be from the non-western world, an idea that found support from China and other countries.

Recalling long-standing ties between the University of Oxford and India, Patten said the university was proud to have produced two leading economists who had steered India’s economy in recent decades: Singh and Ahluwalia.

It was a "source of great pride," he said, that the study of Indian history and economic was an important field of scholarship at Oxford.

After studying at Oxford, many Indians had returned to build the "greatest democracy", he added.

The university has organised its first Oxford-India Day on June 17.