Mamata meets Nobel winner Abhijit Banerjee’s economist mother, seeks advice from both
Mamata said the state government will provide all the data required by the mother-son duo after a 40-minute long meeting with MIT professor’s mother at her south Kolkata apartment.Updated: Oct 17, 2019 01:52 IST
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sought help from the economist duo of Nobel laureate Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee and his mother Nirmala, in a meeting with the later at her Kolkata residence on Wednesday afternoon. Nirmala, who retired as a professor of economics from the Kolkata-based Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, said she will study the government data to assess the impact of state’s social welfare schemes.
Mamata said the state government will provide all the data required by the mother-son duo after a 40-minute long meeting with MIT professor’s mother at her south Kolkata apartment.
“I have sought their opinion. The state government is already working on his (Abhijit’s) advice. She has sought some information on our farmer-oriented policies. Our agriculture secretary will visit her soon,” said the chief minister who referred to Nirmala Banerjee as “mashima” (aunty).
Mamata also referred to Banerjee’s first speech at the MIT campus after winning the Nobel prize when he said that perhaps the best way to revive the Indian economy was to put more money in the hands of the poor to generate demand.
“We are following what he said. We would like to get their advice, as per their availability. The government will provide them with all sorts of data for their understanding,” said the chief minister.
The state government has already accepted Abhijit Banerjee’s suggestion to train informal medical practitioners, generally called quacks.
“Prof Banerjee came to us and submitted his suggestions. The government accepted it and started the implementation from 2017,” said Malay Kumar De, who held discussions with Banerjee on the subject when he was the health secretary.
After Wednesday’s meeting, Nirmala Banerjee said, “I am touched by her informal approach. I am sure that better access to government data will help us have a better understanding of the ground reality and assess the impact of social welfare schemes with more precision.”
The education department is working on felicitating the 58-year-old MIT professor when he visits Kolkata on October 23. Debojyoti Konar, the registrar of the Presidency University from where Banerjee graduated in 1981, said the authorities would meet on Thursday to decide on the felicitation.