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Happy & proud: Mother on Abhijit winning the Nobel

Happy & proud: Mother on Abhijit winning the Nobel

Kolkata: Nirmala Banerjee, the mother of Nobel Prize winner Abhijit Banerjee on Monday said it was a proud moment for her and she is very happy for his achievements.

She said she is also happy as one of the joint winners of the prestigious award is her daughter-in-law Esther Duflo.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee spoke to her and conveyed her best wishes.

Indian-American Abhijit Banerjee, his French-American wife Esther Duflo and another economist Michael Kremer were declared winners of the Nobel Prize for economics on Monday. The 58-year-old bagged the Nobel award for his "experimental approach to alleviating global poverty".

Nirmala Banerjee herself is a former professor of economics at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences and her husband Dipak Banerjee was a professor and the head of the department of Economics at then Presidency College (now University). "I am very happy and proud of his achievements. I am yet to speak to him. I think he must be sleeping as it's still night in the US," she said.

"He was always a brilliant and a disciplined student," she recalled.

About her 47-year-old daughter-in-law Esther Duflo, Banerjee said "She is so young and so intelligent".

Abhijit Banerjee had been educated in South Point School and Presidency College (now university in the city) from where he graduated with a BSc in 1981. After his class 12 examination he had initially taken admission in the B Stat programme at the famed Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata but left it midway to study economics at Presidency College as ISI was far from his home, his mother recalled. Physics was then an alternative, but he decided to take up economics, Nirmala recalled.

"He did great work in understanding poverty and how the poor survived. At times we used to discuss various topics and issues on economics. He has also spoken on economic issues our country is facing presently," Nirmala Banerjee said. The 58-year-old economist received his PhD from Harvard University in 1988. He is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the

US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

With agency inputs

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