When Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan welcomed a retired school teacher from Maharashtra on his show Kaun Banega Crorepati on Monday night, the news of Abhijit Banerjee being conferred with this year’s Nobel Prize for Economics was already out. From Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the celebrated India-born economist was being widely hailed for his historic feat. Call it a pure coincidence, Bachchan too had lined up a question on the Nobel Prize for Economics for his Monday night’s episode even though the programme had been recorded earlier, long before the announcement on Banerjee.
While asking the question for Rs 25 lakh to his contestant Nimita Raut, Bachchan read, “Since its inception, which category of the Nobel Prize has been awarded every single year?” The options included Chemistry, Physics, Peace and Economics. The contestant from Maharashtra decided to quit the show since she was not sure of the correct answer.
The KBC host later informed her that the correct answer was Economics, which was included in the list of Nobel Prize in 1969 in memory of Alfred Nobel. Had the show been recorded on Monday, the question on Nobel Prize for Economics would have been incredibly relevant.
Banerjee was conferred with this year’s Nobel Prize with French economist wife Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer of Harvard University in the US. While announcing the prize, the Nobel Committee hailed their efforts on fighting poverty globally.
Born in Mumbai, 58-year-old Banerjee completed his B.S. degree in economics in 1981 from the Presidency College at the University of Calcutta. he completed his Masters in economics from Delhi’s Jawaharlal University (JNU) in 1983. He acquired his PhD degree from Harvard University five years later.
Banerjee also founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab along with his economist wife Esther Duflo and Sendhil Mullainathan. Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab is a research affiliate of Innovations for poverty action.