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US to honour Amartya Sen with Humanities Medal


First published: February 11, 2012, 8:52 PM IST | Updated: February 11, 2012
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US to honour Amartya Sen with Humanities Medal
Nobel Prize-winning Amartya Sen is the first Indian to be honored with the medal.

New Delhi: US President Barack Obama will award nine scholars the 2011 National Medal for Humanities including India's Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen.

Sen will be felicitated for his insights into the causes of poverty, famine, and injustice. "By applying philosophical thinking to questions of policy, he has changed how standards of living are measured and increased our understanding of how to fight hunger," said a White House statement.

The Nobel Prize-winning economist is the first Indian to be honored with the medal that is typically awarded to US nationals through its 16-year history.

Sen is among four foreign-born luminaries in a distinguished list this year that includes the American poet John Ashbery; historians Robert Darnton and Cuba-born Teofilo Ruiz; Ghanian-British-American philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah; music scholar Charles Rosen; literary scholars Andrew Delbanco and Ramon Saldivar; and the educational program National History Day.

The White House on Friday announced the entire list of the 2011 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal which will be presented on February 13.

Obama will also award the iconic Al Pacino for his contributions as an actor and director to American films and theatre.

US First Lady Michelle Obama will also attend the function.

The full lists:

2011 National Medal of Arts

1. Will Barnet

2. Rita Dove

3. Al Pacino

4. Emily Rauh Pulitzer

5. Martin Puryear

6. Mel Tillis

7. United Service Organization

8. Andre Watts

2011 National Humanities Medal

1. Kwame Anthony Appiah

2. John Ashbery

3. Robert Darnton

4. Andrew Delbanco

5. National History Day

6. Charles Rosen

7. Teofilo Ruiz

8. Ramon Saldivar

9. Amartya Sen

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