PM Meets Banerjee, Jokes Media Trying To Trap Him

Nobel Laureate Prof Abhijit Banerjee on Tuesday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi started the meeting by cracking a joke about how the media is “trying to trap me to say anti-Modi things.”

Prof Banerjee, who met Prime Minister Modi earlier in the day, told media persons, said: “The PM started by cracking a joke about how the media is trying to trap me to say anti-Modi things. He is watching TV. He is watching you guys. He knows what you are trying to do.”

Terming his meeting with Modi as a unique experience, he said that the Prime Minister spoke about governance and bureaucracy.

“It was a privilege to have this meeting with the Prime Minister. He was kind enough to give me quite a lot of time and to talk a lot about his way of thinking about India, which was quite unique,” he said.

“He (Modi) talked about the way he sees governance in particular … and how it, therefore, creates structures of elite control over the governance process,” added Prof Banerjee.

The renowned economist also revealed how the Prime Minister is taking steps to reform the bureaucracy.

“He also very nicely explained how he is trying to reform bureaucracy to making it more responsive to understand ways in which the people’s views need to be taken into account and expose them more to the reality on the ground,” said the Nobel Laureate.

“I think it is a very important point for India to have a bureaucracy that lives on the ground and get its stimulus from how life is on the ground. Without that, we get an unresponsive government,” he signed off, saying a thank you to PM Modi for the unique experience.

During the meeting earlier today, Prime Minister Modi said that Prof Banerjee’s passion towards human empowerment is clearly visible and the country is proud of his achievements.

“Excellent meeting with Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee. His passion towards human empowerment is clearly visible. We had a healthy and extensive interaction on various subjects. India is proud of his accomplishments. Wishing him the very best for his future endeavours,” the Prime Minister tweeted alongside a photo of the meeting.

Prof Banerjee, an Indian-origin economist and an academic professor, was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences along with his French-American wife Esther Duflo and American economist Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.”

The 58-year-old Kolkata-born economist is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US.


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