Abhijit Sen: Early life and education, career

Abhijit Sen

Abhijit Sen was the writer of the impressive report that advocated transforming the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) into a regulatory body and mentioned fixation of the lowest support charges – which the government eventually had to accept, – be dependent on the cost of production.

Early life and education:

Abhijit Sen

He was born in Jamshedpur on November 18, 1950. His father Samar Sen was an economist for the World Bank. He completed his schooling at Sardar Patel Vidyalaya in New Delhi. Then he decided to pursue Physics at St Stephen’s College in Delhi University. However, he soon switched to Economics and was awarded his Ph.D. from Cambridge University for his remarkable thesis, ‘The agrarian restraint to economic improvement: The case of India’ under the guidance of Suzy Paine.

Abhijit Sen was then appointed to teach economics at Sussex, Oxford, Cambridge, and Essex before becoming a member of the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning at Jawaharlal Nehru University in 1985.

His career life:

In 1997, he was designated as chairman of CACP and worked to recommend support prices for agro-based goods. This articulation was later published in the ‘Swaminathan formula’ that supported that MSPs of agricultural produce should be at least 50 percent greater than the production cost.

The Sen panel had also supported a global public distribution method with equal central problem prices for wheat and rice while discarding the ‘below the poverty line and ‘above poverty line’ divisions.

His success and recognition:

This was adopted by the Congress-based UPA government in the National Food Security Act devised in 2013 to give wheat and rice to more than a third of the nation’s residents at an equal rate of Rs 2 and Rs 3 per kg price.

During the tenure of Dr. Manmohan Singh from 2004 to 2014, he worked for the Planning Commission.

In 2010, he was honored with the Padma Bhushan for his service to his nation.

Expressing his deep condolences upon his death, Kaushik Basu, ex-chief economist of the World Bank, said: “Shocking news. A bright mind and a great human being.”

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