CHENNAI TUESDAY OCTOBER 15, 2019 `5.00 PAGES 20 LATE 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 hails from Kolkata, is an alumnus of JNU; had criticised DeMon, raised his voice against data suppression on jobs; was consulted by Congress on its 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 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 Retail inflation up, now a kiss away from 4% EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE rica, South and Southeast Asia. The economics Nobel carries a $918,000 cash award, a gold medal and a diploma. “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. 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, adding it was being viewed with “bewilderment” in serious academic circles. Also, along with 107 well known economists, he had assailed the tendency “to suppress uncomfortable data” during Modi 1.0 and sought restoration of access and integrity to public statistics. Their joint statement in March came after the government had held back publication of job data put together by the NSSO. Soon after winning the Nobel, Banerjee told a TV channel on Monday that India’s economy is “on a shaky ground” and that the government should do pilots of policy initiatives carefully . He also suggested formulatingpolicies 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 policies because they sound good or have a political purpose,” he quipped. He had 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 was . of the opinion such an amount P9 would be fiscally unstable. Same gang behind PNB & jewellery store heist? @ Hyderabad M S T H A N A R A J @ Tiruchy 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 September 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, which delayed harvest and interrupted the supply chain of farm produce. For instance, rains hit supply lines of onions, whose prices jumped 54% last month. But it was somewhat offset by a 19% price drop in tomatoes. “With a good monsoon having come to a close, its moderating impact may be felt on the price level due to improved supply. This may not be of much consequence to the official accommodative policy. A persistence of prices at higher levels beyond the ameliorating influence of the rains may alone invite a policy shift to neutrality ,” said Dr Joseph Thomas, Head Research, Emkay Wealth Management. THE probe into the Lalithaa Jewellery heist case has led the Tiruchy Police to a network of burglars, who were allegedly behind the Punjab National Bank robbery in January this year. The police on Monday arrested Radha Krishnan (28), a gas welder, who, along with his accomplices, broke open private lockers at the PNB and stole 470 sovereigns of gold and `19 lakh cash. Over the past eight months, poMurugan lice have questioned over 1,000 people in connection with the case. However, it was the Lalithaa Jewellery heist that became the turning point. Murugan and Ganeshan, arrested in the jewellery heist case, are said to be the masterminds of the PNB robbery too. Police say they also made unsuccessful attempts to rob three other banks in the district. Like a hole in the wall Police say it’s the ‘similarity’ in the holes drilled on walls that led them to conclude both PNB and Lalithaa Jewellery were targeted by the same gang. The size and dimension of holes drilled in both these cases were almost same. The holes were small, and only a thin person could pass through it. In the PNB case, burglars had made a hole in the corner of the locker room wall. P3 Friends from jail While Murugan and Ganeshan became friends in jail, Suresh is related to the former and Radha Krishnan to the latter. Police say Radha Krishnan was only involved in the PNB case, not in the jewellery store heist. It was the size and dimension of holes drilled in both cases that led the police to the gang HEAD SMASHED, TEEN FOUND DEAD, RAPE SUSPECTED V I G N E S H V @ Madurai MYSTERY shrouds the death of a 16-year-old girl at Onapatti in Madurai district on Monday Sources . said that the girl had gone out to defecate but did not return, prompting a search that ended after her body was found. While the assailant, who smashed her head with a stone, was nabbed, police were awaiting medical reports to ascertain whether she was sexually abused. Police said that the 24-year-old suspect, A Madhavan, had been giving contradictory statements, leading to their hitting a dead end with interrogation. There were suspicions that Madhavan perpetrated the murder with the help of his brother, who has been absconding. “There is no clarity on the involvement of Madhavan’s brother,” an official said. The deceased was a native of Sellur and was paying her grandmother a visit. Sources said that the police were trying to ascertain whether the deceased and the assailant were in a relationship or the latter was stalking her. CURBS OFF Mobile ringtone was never so sweet in Valley F AYA Z W A N I @ Srinagar THEY finally rang after 71 long days, bringing a bit of smile on their owners’ faces. And the first ring on the inert postpaid instruments came around Monday noon. Mobile 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 restored to users of postpaid mobile services. According to officials, the Valley has as many as 40 lakh postpaid mo- bile subscribers and 30.3 lakh prepaid subscribers. “It has come as a major relief to all the people living in the Valley. We were facing grave inconveniences due to the communication blockade. We could not contact our near and dear ones within the Valley and outside. This will at least keep us connected them,” said Javaid Ahmad, a BSNL postpaid subscriber. Another Srinagar resident said, “Restoration of postpaid mobile services is like a dream come true.” But not all postpaid mobiles were functional. “Since internet is down and exchange counters aren’t working, we couldn’t recharge the mobile connections,” another resident said. ABHIJIT BANERJEE Born in India, has a PhD from Harvard. Age 58. Currently teaches Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology 700 mn PEOPLE STILL SUBSIST ON EXTREMELY LOW INCOMES ESTHER DUFLO MICHAEL KREMER Born in Paris, she is Abhijit’s wife Aged 55, he is the Gates Professor and Economics Prof at MIT. At 47, of Developing Societies in the Dept she is the youngest to get a Nobel of 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 Try to tackle global poverty by breaking it down into a number of smaller questions at individual or group levels Answer each of them using a specially designed field experiment 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 Aavin tanker owners to go on strike Namakkal: Aavin tanker lorry owners have called for an indefinite strike from tomorrow. Sources say as many as 275 tanker lorries owned by 55 owners, supplying 30 lakh liters of milk per day across the state would go into strike. A total of 15 lakh litres is supplied to Chennai | P6 Visually-impaired IAS officer is sub-collector Thiruvananthapuram: Pranjal Patil, India’s first visuallychallenged female IAS officer has assumed charge as the Sub-Collector of Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. Although she lost eyesight at the age of six, she cracked the UPSC exam in 2017 and scored an impressive 124th rank | P6
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