New Delhi: Abhijit Sen, a former member of the Planning Commission and an expert on rural economy, passed away on Monday night. He was 72 years old. Sen’s brother Pranab Sen informed this information. He said, ‘Abhijit Sen suffered a heart attack around 11 pm. We took him to the hospital, but by then he was dead. Sen’s career spanned over four decades. He taught economics at Oxford, Cambridge and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.
He held several important government posts, including the chairmanship of the Agricultural Costs and Prices Commission. Sen was a member of the Planning Commission from 2004 to 2014 under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. In 2010, Sen was awarded the Padma Bhushan. When the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) came to power in 2014, it appointed Sen to head a high-level task force to formulate a ‘long-term food policy’. Sen was a staunch supporter of universal public distribution system for wheat and rice.
They argued that food concessions exaggerated the burden on the exchequer, when the country had insufficient resources to not only support the universal public distribution system but also pay farmers a fair price for their produce. There is also enough financial potential to warrant it. Sen has also been associated with various global research and multilateral organizations such as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Asian Development Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, International Fund for Agricultural Development and OECD Development Centre.
His brother Pranab Sen said Abhijit Sen had been suffering from respiratory ailments for the past few years, which worsened during the Covid-19 global pandemic. He is survived by wife Jayati Ghosh and daughter Janhvi. Sen’s wife is also a well-known economist. (organization)