Winner of the 2019 Economics Nobel, Abhijit Banerjee on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Calling the meeting with Banerjee “excellent”, PM Modi tweeted that the two had a “healthy and extensive interaction” on various subjects. He added that India is proud of the economist’s accomplishments.

“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,” PM Modi tweeted after the meeting.

Abhijit Banerjee, his wife Esther Duflo, both working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Harvard University professor Michael Kremer jointly won the 2019 Nobel Economics Prize on October 14 “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.”

The Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize to the three for their research which “has considerably improved the organisation’s ability to fight global poverty”.

Abhijit Banerjee was born in Mumbai in 1961. The 58-year-old economist studied in Calcutta University’s Presidency College and Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi and then did a PhD from Harvard in 1988.

Soon after the Nobel Prize announcement, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that the state government is keen to seek advice from Banerjee and involve him in various developmental projects.

Meanwhile, the Nobel Prize winner has come in for some criticism as well for his comments on the Indian economy.

Union Minister of Commerce and Industries Piyush Goyal, last week, dubbed the Indian-American as “Left-leaning”, and said that he had supported Congress’ ‘NYAY’ scheme.

Banerjee had recently said that the Indian economy is on shaky ground, adding that data currently available does not hold any assurance for the country’s economic revival anytime soon. He further said that “policies are evaluated based on accepted criteria and looked at as an option”.

In an interview with The Statesman, Abhijeet Banerjee had pointed out the need for decentralisation.

“Political systems have become too centralised. One must remember that no one can perform in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. Also, everything is being run from the Centre while the state is hardly left with any powers to decide on a vital issue. Important legislations are made in the Lok Sabha while the state assembly frames mere rubber-stamp legislation.” he said.

Read | Excerpts from The Statesman interview with Abhijit Banerjee