THE NOBEL LAUREATE —AMARTYA SEN
Amartya Sen became the sixth Indian Nobel Laureate. He was born in Santiniketan where his mother still lives. When he was just an infant he was taken to the first Indian Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. He was requested to give him a beautiful name. Tagore gave him the name Amartya Sen. As a young student Sen had great interest in Sanskrit, Mathematics and Physics. But at last he became an economist.
Amartya Sen changed the very way of thinking in the field of Economics. By now Economics dealt with the market economy, and Nobel Prize and other prizes were meant for those who dealt in market economy. Amartya Sen created a great change in the field of economics that by now dealt with merely material gains and losses. The Nobel Prize citation says that Amartya Sen ‘has restored an ethical dimension to the vital economic problems.’ He is the first to make connection between Philosophy and Economics.
Amartya Sen has a social vision of Development-Freedom-Opportunities. He believes that the remedy of all economic problems are in the forces of empowerment — empowerment to the hungry — to women and to destitute. He believes not simply in theories but in grassroots realities. Thus his work begins at the point where the conventional economics fails. Sen does not believe in helping the people when they are hungry or fall victim to famines; but in avoiding hunger and famines. He is of the firm view that reform without social policy fails. We should not dole out money but expand opportunities.
According to Sen India’s economic growth is checked by human factor. The Indian industrialist has contempt for the human factor. State should invest in quality of population. If there is better quality of men their consumption levels would rise. Education at lower levels works miracles in economic progress. The country must raise the literacy levels as has been done in Korea and China. India’s literacy level is lower even than the most backward regions of Africa.
Medical care is necessary to improve the life expectancy levels. Life expectancy, according to Sen, is the mirror of economic achievement. Sen is happy that development Economics has been introduced as a subject in many universities.
Sen had the honour of becoming Drummond Professor of Political Economy at Oxford and Professor of Economics at London school of Economics. Later on he joined Delhi school of Economics where he brought in a number of renovations. Sen was the first Indian to become Master of Trinity College at Cambridge where he had initially started his studies as a student after remaining Lament Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University. He is the golden midway between socialist planning and privatization. India has honoured herself by conferring Bharat Ratna on Amartya Sen.