16 Facts About Abhijit Sen


Abhijit Sen was an Indian economist who focused on studying rural development.


Abhijit Sen was a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honor, in 2010.


Abhijit Sen was born on 18 November 1950 into a Bengali Baidya family in Jamshedpur, in the present-day Indian state of Jharkhand.


The family moved to New Delhi, where Abhijit Sen studied at Sardar Patel Vidyalaya and later at St Stephen's College where he studied for a physics honours degree.


Abhijit Sen later went to the University of Cambridge and obtained a PhD in economics in 1981 as a member of Trinity Hall, with a thesis titled "The agrarian constraint to economic development: the case of India" written under the supervision of Suzy Paine.


Abhijit Sen started his career teaching at many of the universities in the UK, including those at University of Sussex, Oxford University, University of Cambridge, and the University of Essex, before returning to New Delhi to teach at the Jawaharlal Nehru University.


Abhijit Sen was appointed by the United Front government in 1997 to lead the Commission on Agricultural Costs and Prices.

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Abhijit Sen was the chairman of a number of official Commissions, including the High Level Committee on Long Term Grain Policy, Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, the Tenth Plan Subgroup on Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.


Abhijit Sen's work computed MSP based on not only direct costs of producing the grains, but included indirect costs like unpaid family labor, opportunity costs from rent and interest lost on owned land, as well as capital asset costs.


Abhijit Sen was first appointed to the Planning Commission during the United Progressive Alliance government under Manmohan Singh in 2004 and was re-appointed for a second five-year term from 2009 to 2014.


Abhijit Sen was a member of the State Planning Boards of West Bengal and Tripura, PM's Taskforce on Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, and the Expert Committee on Rural Credit.


Abhijit Sen's recommendations included the establishment of a universal Public Distribution System that eliminated categorization of poverty lines as determinants of grains and instead had the central government fix the uniform prices of rice, wheat and other grains.


Abhijit Sen was adviser and consultant with international organisations, such as the United Nations' Development Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization and World Institute for Development Economics Research, International Labour Organization, OECD Development Centre, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the Asian Development Bank.


Abhijit Sen received the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award, for public service in 2010.


Abhijit Sen was married to economist Jayati Ghosh whom he met at the JNU.


Abhijit Sen had a heart attack and died in New Delhi on 29 August 2022, at the age of 71.