Indian-born Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday morning. Soon after, Modi tweeted that it was an excellent meeting and that “India is proud of his accomplishments”. Banerjee shared this year’s Nobel with co-researcher and wife Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer. Duflo, the youngest Economics Nobel winner, wasn't present at the meeting with the PM.
"Excellent meeting with Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee. His passion towards human empowerment is clearly visible. We had a healthy and extensive interaction on various subjects. India is proud of his accomplishments. Wishing him the very best for his future endeavours," the prime minister wrote on his personal twitter handle, @narendramodi.
Excellent meeting with Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee. His passion towards human empowerment is clearly visible. We had a healthy and extensive interaction on various subjects. India is proud of his accomplishments. Wishing him the very best for his future endeavours. pic.twitter.com/SQFTYgXyBX— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 22, 2019
Banerjee and Duflo have been in India for the past few days to promote their book Good Economics for Hard Time’s: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems.
A professor at the US’ Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Banerjee has said in his recent interviews that a cut in corporation tax rate might not boost demand. He has been advocating increasing the tax on the rich and making cash available for the poor to improve consumption at the time of an economic slowdown.
Some politicians in the current dispensation have been critical of Banerjee. Recently, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said Banerjee had a Left-leaning mindset and that his views had already been rejected by India. Some others in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had made personal remarks on Banerjee. To that, he had reacted saying he was upset with such personal comments.
Against that backdrop, Banerjee’s meeting with the PM was seen as significant.
Even as he has opposed the corporation tax rate cut as a way to boost economy, Banerjee has said that many other things that the current government has done, including many of its welfare schemes for the poor, are in the right spirit.
Banerjee and Duflo have been awarded Nobel for their work on randomised controlled trials, or RCT — an experimental approach to alleviate global poverty.