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News18 » India
2-min read

Abhijit Banerjee Terms Several Schemes of WB Govt 'Interesting'; Receives Honorary D Litt from Alma Mater

The nobel laureate, who hails from the city, met the chief minister at the state secretariat along with his mother Nirmala Banerjee, also an economist, and held discussion on the government development schemes for the people for nearly an hour, officials said.

PTI

Updated:January 28, 2020, 8:58 PM IST
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Abhijit Banerjee Terms Several Schemes of WB Govt 'Interesting'; Receives Honorary D Litt from Alma Mater
File photo of Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee.

Kolkata: Nobel laureate Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee Tuesday said several schemes run by the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal are "interesting" and he will study them before taking a decision on the chief minister's offer to work together.

The nobel laureate, who hails from the city, met the chief minister at the state secretariat along with his mother Nirmala Banerjee, also an economist, and held discussion on the government development schemes for the people for nearly an hour, officials said.

Speaking about his meeting with the chief minister, Banerjee said, "They (the state government) are giving chances. I will try to work, lets see what can be done. There is no dearth of opportunities here."

"I came here to listen to the West Bengal government about several interesting schemes being implemented in the state. Now I will go back and study about these things and learn more about them (the schemes)," Banerjee told reporters while leaving the state secretariat.

Banerjee, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2019 along with two others for "their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty", is one of the directors of Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) which he had founded in 2003.

Banerjee, however, did not take any questions from the journalists on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Population Register (NPR) or the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The Nobel laureate was also conferred the honorary D Litt by his alma mater Calcutta University at its annual convocation in Kolkata.

Banerjee, who was bestowed the D Litt (honoris causa) by CU Vice-chancellor Sonali Chakraborty Banerjee, said in his address "It is a moment of pride....to be bestowed the honour by this great university. I am happy to have been honoured by the 162-year old institution located in my own city".

Banerjee had pursued his graduation with economics honours from the then Presidency College, now university, and secured first class first rank in Calcutta University in 1981.

The VC said, "Prof Banerjee comes in a long lineage of Bengali and Indian intellectuals who have placed the ethical problem of poverty and inequality at the centre of their vision. We hope that our present and future students will carry this legacy forward to create a more equal society".

Speaking at the programme, Banerjee dwelt on his economics theory 'randomised control trials' (RCT) which involves carrying out randomized field experiments to study the effectiveness of policies and programmes at improving human well-being.

The objective of RCT is to see how it impacts economics and lives of the people, he said, adding the theory was put on trial in field projects in Rajasthan and Bihar in past.

Eminent astrophysicist J V Narlikar was conferred Sir Asutosh Mookerjee Memorial Medal. Scientists Samir K Brahmachari, Arup Kumar Raychaudhuri and Partha Pratim Majumder were bestowed the Sir Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray Medal.

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