Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen
(An Economist of the Downtrodden)

Professor Amartya Sen, became the first economist and the sixth Indian to get Nobel Prize in 1998 for his contribution to welfare econo-mics. Amartya Sen was born on 3rd November 1933, at Santiniketan in West Bengal. He was a genius from his childhood. His mother Amita Sen had high aspirations about him. In his childhood, he had seen lakhs of people dying in front of his eyes due to hunger and famine. He was deeply moved by the sight of dying and had a scar in his mind. Sen was educated at Santiniketan, Presidency college in Kolkata and Trinity college, Cambridge. He became professor at Jadavpur University at the age of 23.

He worked on the causes of poverty and famines. Sen pointed out that India’s basic problem is deep seated poverty and inequality. “Inequality in India is not only a serious barrier to social justice, rather a major obstacle to general economic and social progress.”

Sen has written 20 books related to economics. He co-authored with Jean Zreze to write the book “India: Economic Development and Social Opportunity.” In his book “Development as freedom” he has described nicely about different kinds of freedom. (1) Internal Freedom or the freedom to be creative, to think and to reason. (2) Participatory freedom which concern democracy and political liberty. (3) Transactional freedom which means freedom to participate and deal with each other. (4) Procedural freedom which means absence of discrimination and inequality of treatment. (5) Protective freedom which means circumstances to be dominated by human will.

He has also been awarded Bharat Ratna in the year 1999. With his prize money, he has set up a research institute in Santiniketan in the field of Education and health-care in India.

In 1998, he recieved the Nobel memorial prize in Economic Sciences for his work in welfare economics.

In 2000 he recieved Leontief Prize for his outstanding contribution to economic theory from the Global Developement & Environment Institute. He has recieved many other awards that cannot be mentioned because of lack of space.

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