KOTTAYAM l TUESDAY l OCTOBER 15, 2019 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l CITY EDITION COUPLE, RESEARCH PARTNER SHARE ECONOMICS NOBEL EAR TO THE GROUND ACTION LAB TO FIGHT POVERTY Nobel winners Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer used innovative research based on field experiments to know the best way to design measures to reduce poverty Banerjee founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab along with his French-American wife Duflo in 2003, and had researchers conduct 240 experiments in 40 countries to find out what measures actually work for the poor India-born economist bags Nobel Abhijit Banerjee shares the coveted prize with research partners Esther Duflo and Michael Kreme; a known critic of the policies of the Modi govt, he had advised Cong on Nyay scheme for the poor J AYA N TA R O Y C H O W D H U R Y INDIA-born Abhijit Banerjee along with his wife and partner in research Esther Duflo — both professors at US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology — and their colleague from Harvard, Michael Kremer, won the Nobel Prize for Economics, on their “experimental approach to poverty alleviation”. Banerjee, an alumnus of Calcutta’s Presidency College of and Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University and a doctorate from Harvard University is the second In, dian origin economist to win the Nobel for Economics. Officially known as the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sci- ences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, the award started by Riksbanken (Swedish central bank) in 1968, wasn’t created by the prize founder but is considered to be part of the Nobel awards. Banerjee who with Duflo and Sendhil Mullainathan founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab in 2003, has concentrated on researching how policy interventions like such as deworming programmes or afterschool hours tutoring for firstgeneration learners can help reduce poverty . He and colleagues have worked on a body of experimental economics work in developing countries in Af- CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK Banerjee and Duflo wrote Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty. The book, which won the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award in 2011, has been translated into over 17 languages rica, South and Southeast Asia for which the economics Nobel, which carries a $918,000 cash award, a gold medal and a diploma, is being given. “This year’s laureates have introduced a new approach to obtain reliable answers about the best ways to fight global poverty ,” the Nobel Committee tweeted. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the economists created new ways to combat poverty by focusing on smaller, more manageable issues like education or child health. Adding that as a direct result of the three economists’ studies, five million Indian children benefited from remedial tutoring in schools, economic studies and planning. Banerjee is a known critic of the BJP-led government’s economic policies. On demonetisation, he had said he never understood the logic behind such a drastic step. Soon after winning the Nobel, Banerjee told a television channel that India’s economy is “on a shaky ground” and advised the government to do pilots of policy initiatives very carefully . He also urged the Indian government to formulate policies that work rather than imposing those which the government imagines will work. “There is always a little bit of a willingness in India to announce a policy because they sound good or they have a political purpose,” he observed. He had also advised the Congress ahead of the general elections in May about offering financial aid to the poor. However, his advice to limit the dole to `2,500 a month per family was ignored and the party, then led by Rahul Gandhi, announced `6,000 a month in its scheme called Nyay . Banerjee felt such an amount would be fiscally unstable. P9 `1.30-CR Panel finds only 3 from COMPENSATION RECOMMENDED FOR NAMBI 1st batch eligible for `25L Retail inflation up, now a kiss away from 4% EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad CONSUMER price inflation (CPI), which maintained an elegant calm for months, is finally heating up. In September, prices rose to a 14-month high of 3.9%, led by a steep rise in food prices and an unfavourable base effect. The food prices index stood at an alarming 5.11%, up from 2.99% in August. The unexpected increase was solely led by a 15.4% jump in vegetable prices. At 3.9%, inflation is at a kissing distance from the RBI’s goal of 4%. It has remained below the target for 14 months in a row now. Inflation stood at 3.28% in August and 3.7 a year before in September, 2018. The spike in prices is still in line with RBI’s revised inflation estimates, and leaves room for further rate cuts for one simple reason. The price rise will be seen as a seasonal occurrence given the extended monsoon. E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi THE Supreme Court-appointed committee overseeing the demolition of the high-rises in Maradu has found only 14 of the 19 applications by flat owners eligible for compensation. Of that 14, only three will receive `25 lakh as they have furnished more than that as the building value. The Maradu municipality had weeded out six applications from a total of 25 claims from the residents and submitted 19 before the Justice Balakrishnan Nair committee. As per the SC order, the committee was directed to arrive at the actual amount to be paid or `25 lakh, whichever is less, based on the documents furnished. The remaining flat owners of nearly 318 have to submit their applications by Wednesday and the committee will review their claims on Thursday at its next sitting. Meanwhile, in a setback to the residents’ claims, the committee which also comprised former chief secretary K Jose Cyriac and PWD ex-chief engineer R Murukesan, decided to go by the amounts shown in the registered deeds for the first sale, which ● More on P6 was far lower than the actual amount they paid. Razing to begin on Oct 25 Kochi: Edifice Engineering and Vijay Steels and Explosives, the companies entrusted with the task of demolishing Maradu flats, have decided to start work on October 25. Edifice partner Uttkarsh Mehta told Anilkumar T inner walls would be razed down first. P6 TRIBAL COP’S SUICIDE: 7 POLICE OFFICERS SURRENDER E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Palakkad SEVEN police personnel, who were named accused on the charge of abetting the suicide of tribal civil police officer N K Kumar of Kallekad AR camp, surrendered before the Crime Branch SP of fice here on Monday . The officers — Assistant SubInspectors N Rafeeq and P Harigovindan, senior civil police officer M Mohammed Azad and civil police officers K C Mahesh, S Sreejith, K Vysakh and V Jayesh — surrendered after the Kerala High Court dismissed their anticipatory bail pleas. The charges levelled against them include abetment of suicide, robbery and atrocities on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The police personnel have been suspended from service. The first accused, former deputy commandant of the camp L Surendran, who had retired on July 31, was arrested earlier. Attappadi native Kumar’s body was found on the railway tracks near the Lakkidi station on July 25. Family members had complained that Kumar ended his life due to caste discrimination and harassment by his colleagues at the camp. The suicide note recovered from the spot had also pointed to the fact. ● More on P6 AUTOPSY REPORT Son may’ve buried 84-yr-old woman alive E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kollam THE autopsy report of Savithri Sundaresan, 84, who was killed by her son in Kollam, has not only revealed the brutal assaults she suffered at his hands, but also pointed to the bitter truth that she could have been buried alive. The police suspect Sunil Kumar, 45, might have mistaken his mother to be dead after she turned unconscious during the assault and buried her. Kollam East police, who had arrested Sunil on Sunday also took into , BRUTAL ASSAULT Postmortem examination showed the elderly woman suffered severe assaults at the hands of her son custody his friend Kuttan, an auto driver and co-accused in the crime, on Monday . 700 mn PEOPLE STILL SUBSIST ON EXTREMELY LOW INCOMES ESTHER DUFLO MICHAEL KREMER Born in Paris, she is Abhijit’s wife Age 55, is the Gates Professor of and Economics Prof at MIT. At 47, Developing Societies in the Dept of she is the youngest to get a Nobel Economics at Harvard University When small is big The award recognises the trio’s work on reducing the massive problem of global poverty by focusing on carefully designed, targeted experiments that would lead to specific policy initiatives HOW THEY DID IT l Try to tackle global poverty by breaking it down into a number of smaller questions at individual or group levels l Answer each of them using a specially designed field experiment l Observe the behavioural aspects of decision-making by the poor. Find interventions that work best for them SAMPLE QUESTIONS What is the best way to make sure the children sleep under bed nets? (in the context of malaria prevention) Why is it so hard for children in poor areas to learn even when they attend school? Why do the poorest people in an Indian state spend 7% of their food budget on sugar? Does having lots of children actually make you poorer? Why would a poor man in Morocco who Congratulations to Abhijit Banerjee. He has made notable contributions in the field of poverty alleviation Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Apart from making the nation of his origin proud, Prof Banerjee’s work had helped millions across the globe, including India, come out of poverty Sonia Gandhi, Congress leader He did great work in understanding poverty and how the poor survived. He was always a brilliant and disciplined student. I’m very proud of his achievements Nirmala Banerjee, mother ofAbhijit Banerjee doesn’t have enough to eat buy a TV? THEIR FINDINGS IN THE ABSENCE OF COMPULSION OR PRESSURE, PEOPLE WOULDN’T ALWAYS DO THE SENSIBLE THING I think that the prize has been given to the most competent persons Amartya Sen, economist EXPRESS READ MARADU FLAT COMPENSATION The government has been recommended to provide I1.30 crore in compensation to Isro ex-scientist Nambi Narayanan who was falsely implicated in the espionage case. P6 ABHIJIT BANERJEE Born in India, has a PhD from Harvard. Age 48. Currently teaches Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Savithri of Plamoottil Kizhakkath Veedu at Neethi Nagar in Pattathanam, who went missing on September 5, was strangled and buried on her house premises. As per autopsy reports, her ribs were fractured and she had suffered injuries behind skull, said a police officer. Savithri’s daughter Lali lodged a complaint with the police on September 12 saying her mother had gone missing. Sunil said back then that his mother had left home after argu● More on P6 ing with him. Vigilance reconstitutes flyover probe team Mobile ringtone was never so sweet in Valley Kochi: After unearthing a mole who used to pass on crucial details to suspects in Palarivattom flyover case, Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau on Monday reconstituted the entire probe team by bringing in two senior DySPs and two inspectors. V Shyamkumar may be the new officer. P4 Srinagar: They finally rang after 71 long days. Mobiles phones had gone silent ever since the Centre imposed a communication blockade on J&K on August 5 after Article 370 was read down. On Monday, connectivity was finally restored to users of postpaid mobile services.
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