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Princeton professor wins Nobel measuring poverty in India

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Washington: Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton’s current research focuses on the determinants of health in rich and poor countries as well as on the measurement of poverty in India and around the world.

The British-born Princeton University professor has been awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in economics for his contributions to understanding consumption at the individual level and in aggregate. Deaton, who also maintains a longstanding interest in the analysis of household surveys, noted that his focus on individuals and their decisions is important both from an academic and ethical standpoint, according to a report on the university website.

“In the end, it’s individual peoples’ well-being that counts,” he was quoted as saying. “When you’re counting the poverty rate in India or the mortality rate in the United States, all of those things you’re looking at are aggregates.”

“But it’s one death at a time. It’s one person at a time who’s in poverty,” Deaton said. “It’s their lives that are being led. In the end, I don’t think you’re ever going to want to get away from the individual.”

Deaton’s latest book, ‘The Great Escape: Health, Wealth and the Origins of Inequality’ (Princeton University Press), explores the story of how, beginning 250 years ago, some parts of the world sustained progress, opening up gaps and setting the state for today’s unequal world.

He’s also widely known for publications on the relationship between income and happiness, with Kahneman.

In announcing Deaton’s prize, the Nobel committee also specifically noted Deaton’s 1980 paper, with John Muellbauer, ‘An Almost Ideal Demand System’, which details a way to provide a reliable picture of demand patterns in society.

At a news conference in Princeton Monday afternoon, Deaton noted the tremendous progress that has been made in conditions around the world.

“I’ve spent a lot of time arguing the world is getting to be a much better place,” Deaton said.

“Over the past 200 years, the world has been transformed from something close to destitution to where many, many of us have much richer lives in which our talents and capabilities can be more fully expressed. I do tend to emphasise there’s more to be done.”

Deaton, a native of the United Kingdom, earned his bachelor’s degree and PhD from Cambridge University. He taught at Cambridge and the University of Bristol before joining the faculty at Princeton in 1983.

(IANS)

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8 must-read works of Rabindranath Tagore

Tagore was a versatile artist who provided an earnest insight into society and humanity with his various short stories, novels, essays, songs, plays, and paintings.

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Rabindranath Tagore was the pioneer of Bengali Literature. Wikimedia Commons
Rabindranath Tagore was the pioneer of Bengali Literature. Wikimedia Commons
  • Rabindranath Tagore was the pioneer of Bengali Literature.
  • He has many landmarks works to his name which continues to inspire masses.
  • His collection of poems, Gitanjali got him the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913.

The Nobel Prize-winning writer, Rabindranath Tagore, also known as Gurudeva or the Bard of Bengal, was the trailblazer of Bengali literature. He possessed literary genius through which he brought a revolution in Bengali literature and music.

A painting by mullti-talented Rabindranath Tagore.
A painting by multi-talented Rabindranath Tagore.

Tagore was a versatile artist who provided an earnest insight into society and humanity through his short stories, novels, songs and paintings. His works even today inspire the masses and young readers and writers. Here is the list of some of his remarkable works:

Gitanjali

One of his best work is a collection of 157 poems called ‘Gitanjali’. The poems in this book vary in their themes, from spirituality to complexities of life. It was originally written in Bengali and was later translated into English. This work was so remarkable that Tagore got a Nobel Prize for it in 1913.

Gitanjali is the landmark work of Tagore. Wikimedia Commons
Gitanjali is the landmark work of Tagore. Wikimedia Commons

 Gitabitan

Rabindranath Tagore was a skilled and sensible songwriter. Throughout his life, he wrote a total of 2230 songs which are popularly known as ‘Rabindra Sangeeth’. The songs were compiled in this exquisite book called ‘Gitabitan.’

Chokher Bali

Chokher Bali or ‘A grain of sand’ is a Bengali novel written by Tagore, which was later translated into English. The story revolves around an extra-marital affair and depicts passion, desires, relationships and honesty in all its complexities. The novel is well known for its portrayal of complexities in a relationship.

Gora 

Rabindranath Tagore wrote 12 novels, and out of these, this one is the longest and most complex. It raises a number of concerns, which are relevant to our nation even today. This book aptly reflects different social standards in colonial India.

Rabindranath Tagore produced many works which changed the literature in India. Image source: buddybyte.com
Rabindranath Tagore produced many works which changed the literature in India. Image source: buddybyte.com

Kabuliwallah(The Fruitseller from Kabul)

The Kabuliwala is about an Afghan vendor who came to Calcutta, trying to earn a living. Along the way, he creates an emotional bond with the narrator’s five-year-old daughter. It is a very touching and heart-warming story which will leave you emotional.

Ghare Baire (The Home and the World)

This book has an autobiographical aspect. It reflects upon the deeper meaning of life by showing the struggles of three individuals. The story represents a war between the western and eastern ideology. Tagore chose Swadeshi Movement as the backdrop for this novel and provided a deep insight into the Bengal history.

The Postmaster

This is another one of Tagore’s work which revolves around the search for the meaning of life. This story of a city man working as a postmaster in a village to earn his living will give you lots of food for thought. The story represents loneliness in a beautifully haunting way.

Shesher Kabita

This novel was first released in a serialised form in the magazine ‘Probashi’. It was published as a book in the year 1928. The translated version of the book is called ‘The Last Poem’ and ‘Farewell song’ in English. The book portrays the platonic love of a matured couple and its complication. It is an epic love saga.