Illustrations of Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer | Twitter: @NobelPrize
Illustrations of Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer | Twitter: @NobelPrize
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Mainstream newspapers Tuesday dedicate their front pages to economist Abhijit Banerjee, the recipient of the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics along with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer. Front pages also feature photographs of Kashmiri locals who were finally able to use their mobile phones after the 72 day communication blockade was lifted.

Nobel Prize: The Times of India takes you back to school with its headline, “India’s A+ In Eco: After Amartya, It’s Abhijit,” The Indian Express remembers to credit the duo, “Couple Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo share Nobel for Economics,” Hindustan Times emphasises the study, “Pivotal poverty study wins Banerjee a Nobel,” while The Hindu is, unsurprisingly, dull in its headline, “Economics Nobel for Abhijit, two others.”

HT reports, Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer won the 2019 Nobel prize for Economics “for pioneering research into determining what works and what does not in efforts to combat poverty, improve health and expand education programmes.”

Hindu notes that one of the major findings of the study by Banerjee and Duflo was “that in developing countries, there is often a stark difference between the technology and practices used by companies in the same economy and sector.”

Express writes, their work “revolved around identifying ‘low-hanging fruits’, which are often the most effective interventions in improving outcomes in health and education for the poor.”

TOI highlights the Indian connect, “Mumbai-born, Kolkata-bred economist Abhijit Banerjee – an alumnus of JNU”. It also brings to light that Paris-born Duflo is “the youngest woman ever” to win an economics Nobel.

J&K: “Hundreds of Kashmiris were able to reconnect with relatives living outside the State”, as mobile services were “restored for 40 lakh postpaid numbers,” says Hindu.

HT reveals, “locals appeared relieved after the easing of the communications embargo, dialling their relatives and wishing each other ‘Eid Mubarak’,”

In “Valley Buzzes again,” TOI carries a tourist’s picture on her phone. However, Express reports, “hours later” the government “re-imposed curbs on SMS services.” It adds, “around the same time,” J&K police said “two militants shot dead the driver of a truck from Rajasthan transporting apples” in Shopian.

Sourav Ganguly: Express writes, “India’s most influential captain” emerged “as the lone contender” in the “race to be BCCI president, confirming his phenomenal rise to the top of Indian cricket.” It adds that Ganguly’s “march to world cricket’s most coveted seat was anything but a cakewalk.”

Hindu provides the detail that his “tenure may end after 10 months as he will run into the Lodha Committee’s recommended compulsory cooling off period after being an office-bearer for two consecutive terms.”

Others: TOI’s lead story on the flap says, Home Minister Amit Shah believes that the “real estate deal between Mumbai blast accused Iqbal Mirchi’s wife and former Union Minister Praful Patel was ‘nothing short of treason’.”

HT underlines that according to a report by the RBI “farmers may be mortgaging family gold to take on larger agricultural loans that they actually need to meet cultivation costs.”

Hindu’s second lead quotes National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s statement on terrorism, “If a terrorist takes action and the media is quiet about it, terrorism will end.”

Opinion 

Express: In “Easing Poverty,” the newspaper claims that the 2019 Economics Nobel to Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo “reaffirms the value of evidence-based policy making in addressing intractable problems.” Banerjee and Duflo founded J-PAL that has “helped popularise Random Control Trials (RCT).” It is a technique of “exploration which draws from medical research to examine the impact of policy interventions on individual behaviour through controlled risks.” Express gives an example of an experiment conducted by them – they found that it was “possible to dramatically increase the quality of education in urban India” through “remedial education and computer assisted learning programmes.” In India, where there is “little faith in evidence-based policy-making,” the paper believes that such “research can be enormously valuable in informing public debate.”

Hindu: The newspaper maintains that over the last four years, Indian cricket has “played out at two distinctly contrasting levels.” On the field, “the squad gained heft, remained unassailable at home,” however, off the field, the “scenario was one of cloak and dagger” as the BCCI “delayed implementations” of the Lodha Committee reforms “that had Supreme Court’s backing.” Hindu is hopeful, Sourav Ganguly “might just be the person Indian cricket administration needs now.” It notes that he “has arduous challenges ahead as the potency of the Lodha reforms” are diluted due to nepotism. It calls on Ganguly to “reiterate” his spirit while “also countering the old guard which may resist his efforts.”

Prime Time

Times Now discussed NCP leader Praful Patel’s connection with the Dawood gang. “Will Praful Patel break silence?” Republic TV asked. Hindi channels debated the Haryana and Maharashtra assembly elections

CNN-News 18: Rahul Gandhi invoked the Rafale deal during his election campaign in Maharashtra. Anchor Marya Shakil asked on ‘News Epicentre’ – “Why is Rahul Gandhi pushing a political pitch that failed during the Lok Sabha election and is this going to derail Congress’ agenda?”

Senior Journalist Rasheed Kidwai, calling Rahul an unconventional politician, said: “He is no longer the president of the Congress…but he is still being called for campaigning. This tells us a lot about Congress and how they lack effective campaigners.”

Political Analyst Saba Naqvi said, “The train gets derailed but there should be a track at least …in Congress there is no track at all and nobody knows who is driving the engine. Saying that Rahul Gandhi has some vote-catching ability is a matter of laughter.”

Geopolitical analyst Pathirit Payne: “The whole issue of Rafale is done and dusted… the biggest lies Congress people have peddled for the last few months is that Anil Ambani got the deal to manufacture Rafale, we all know it has been manufactured in France.”

NDTV 24/7: Postpaid mobile services in Kashmir were restored after a 72-day lockdown. Anchor Vishnu Som asked if it was the “first step towards normalcy”.

Sociology professor Nandini Sundar, who visited J&K on a fact-finding trip, wasn’t convinced. “I don’t think this can be called the return of normalcy yet when we have such huge troop deployment in the valley…people are humiliated and the political uncertainty continues…”

Citing an article by Abhijit Iyer Mitra in ThePrint, lawyer Desh Ratan Nigam said,  “There were a lot of allegations which were proved wrong. I will not say this is completely normal but it surely is moving towards normalcy.”

Former Army Chief, Gen. Deepak Kapoor, called it a welcome step and said, “72 days is a short period for people to get accustomed to this change but Kashmiris have the history to embrace change. It will take time but they will be able to adjust.”

India TV: Anchor Saurav Sharma asked, “Is the BJP going to win elections only on the basis of Art 370 in Haryana and Kashmir?”

BJP’s Sudhanshi Trivedi said, “Congress can’t decide its stance on various issues… we are mentioning abrogation of article 370 to expose this hypocrisy of the Congress party.”

Muslim Political Council of India’s Tasleem Rahmani said, “Why is the BJP not talking about local issues? There are issues of farmers’ suicide, bank scams, economic slowdown etc… Trying to fight the election on behalf of Kashmiris is a disrespect to them.”

Zee News: During the National Investigation Agency’s meet, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval talked about the pressure on Pakistan due to the Financial Task Action Force (FATF). Anchor Sachin Arora mentioned Doval’s statement and also discussed the viral video of Pakistani kids talking about waging a war on India.

BJP’s Prem Shukla said, “Pakistan is not in a condition to face India… That is why they have started a hybrid war. Brainwashing poor people and young kids are its (Pakistan’s) only existing strategy.”

Political Analyst Nishant Verma said, “First of all, Art 370 has not been abrogated but only been diluted… Secondly, the presence of Article 370 had nothing to do with terrorism.”

Responding to Mr Verma, Maj. Gen. K.K. Sinha (Retd.) asked, “If scrapping Art 370 was a worthless exercise then why has Pakistan been threatening to start a nuclear war?”

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