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'When I say my country, it is always India,' says Nobel Prize winner Abhijit Banerjee

BusinessToday.In     October 15, 2019

Nobel Prize winner Abhijit Banerjee has said that he is programmed as an Indian even though he is an American citizen.

"I think when I say my county, it is always India. So, for me, there is no choice there, it's essentially programmed into me. I see myself through the eyes of Indians," Banerjee said in an exclusive interview to India Today TV.

When asked if you feel a sense of pride in being an Indian, he said yes, I think so. "For me, psychologically, I am very much an Indian."

Banerjee, who is a noted professor of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA, has been awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize for his efforts to alleviate global poverty. Banerjee, along with wife Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, have been conferred with the honour "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty."

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Banerjee's mother also said that the Indian-American economist was "very much an Indian". The Nobel Laureate's mother who is also an economist stated that he was hesitant to change his citizenship, adding that Banerjee was a book worm during his younger days.

Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, 58, was born in Mumbai and attended South Point School and Presidency College, Calcutta, where he completed his BS degree in economics in 1981. He completed his M.A. in economics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi in 1983. He was awarded a Ph.D. in economics at Harvard in 1988.

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He is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He had also taught at Harvard University and Princeton University.

Banerjee is a co-founder of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (along with economists Esther Duflo and Sendhil Mullainathan), a research affiliate of Innovations for poverty action, and a member of the Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty.

Edited by Chitranjan Kumar

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