The Indian flavour was strong at the 2019 Nobel Prize giving ceremony on Tuesday as Indian-American economist Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo received the 2019 Nobel in Economic Sciences along with Michael Kremer. The husband-wife duo chose to wear Indian clothes for the ceremony at the Concert Hall in Stockholm, Sweden - Banerjee dressed in a traditional white, gold-bordered dhoti and black bandhgala and Duflo wore a blue sari, red blouse and red bindi.
Banerjee and Duflo are both professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States and received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences along with Kremer for their efforts in "fighting poverty". Duflo in fact is the second woman to win the Nobel Economics Prize in its 50-year existence, following Elinor Ostrom in 2009.
After the announcement of the Nobel Prize, Banerjee’s criticism of the state of the Indian economy and the government’s economic policies drew a lot of flak with BJP leaders like Union Minister Piyush Goyal calling him a “left-leaning” economist.
Subsequently however, Banerjee travelled to India and met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October, with the Indian leader describing it as an "excellent meeting" with the Nobel winner.
58-year-old Banerjee was born in Mumbai, India but is now an American citizen. He was educated at the University of Calcutta and Jawaharlal Nehru University before receiving his PhD from Harvard University and is currently a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).