West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday visited the south Kolkata residence of Nobel Prize in Economics winner Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee and said her government was keen to utilise his services as also that of his mother, also an economist of repute.
“We are all proud of him. In whatever way we can, and subject to the time he can spare, we want to involve him in our government’s various efforts,” Banerjee told waiting media persons after spending around 40 minutes with the economist’s mother.
The Chief Minister, who had congratulated US-based Banerjee on Twitter soon after the official announcement about the coveted award on Monday, went to his seventh floor apartment on Ballygunge Circular Road, at around 5 pm.
She was welcomed by Banerjee’s mother Nirmala, also an economist of repute.
The Chief minister said she briefed her about the large number of pro-poor schemes and projects of the state government.
Calling Nirmala ‘Masima’ (aunt), Banejee said she was “very much interested” in the work of the Agriculture Department.
“The Agriculture Secretary will brief her. Then there is the Health Department, Woman and Child Welfare Department, Rural Development Department, Education Department, where she can work.” The Chief Minister was accompanied by Home Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay, the Nobel Prize winner’s batchmate in erstwhile Presidency College – now Presidency University. State minister Indranil Sen, and city Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma were also present.
Sen, a noted singer, rendered a few popular Rabindrasangeet numbers during the chit-chat.
Banerjee, an Indian-American, jointly bagged the prestigious award along with his wife Esther Duflo and economist Michael Kremer.
Announcing the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the research conducted by the troika has considerably improved the ability to fight global poverty.
Born in Mumbai in 1961, Bannerjee is one of the leading development economists and is presently working as a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His wife is also a professor there.