Dr Vamsi Vakulabharanam, Reader in the School of Economics at the University of Hyderabad has won the prestigious Amartya Sen Award. The award newly instituted this year by the Indian Council for Social Sciences Research (ICSSR) is given to ‘Distinguished Social Scientists’. In recognition of his distinguished work, Dr Vamsi will be given a citation, plaque and a cash amount of Rs 10 lakhs at a function to be organized later in New Delhi.
The four strands of work that have been cited by the ICSSR selection panel for Dr. Vamsi’s award are – the work on agrarian distress in the context of Telangana region of AP in the 1990s, the structure and logic of rising inequality in India and China since 1990s, the deeper relation between economic development and inequality by analyzing the Asian experience, and the work on strengthening commons and cooperatives, as alternatives to the present system.
The selection committee noted that Dr. Vamsi Vakulabharanam has done outstanding work in the sphere of political economy. His contribution to development economics and his interests in the development of the Chinese economy mark him out as a researcher of great potential who will make major contributions in the area of comparative economic development.
The ICSSR instituted the Amartya Sen Award at the behest of Union HRD Ministry. The Minister Kapil Sibal, while making an announcement to this effect in February last said that it was a part of the five-point agenda “to rejuvenate social sciences “ in the country. “Unless we are able to lift the quality of research in India in social sciences, we will not be able to get the kind of data which are fundamental for policy makers to take decisions”, he added, signifying the importance the government attached to the Award.
The Minister also proposed a Social Science Innovation Centre as part of his five-point scheme. Pointing out that brilliant scholars in science subjects were given Bhatnagar Awards but there were no equivalent ones for social sciences, he said the Noble Laureate Dr Amartya Sen would be honoured by instituting as many as ten annual awards in different social sciences such as economics, sociology and history.
The awards are open not only to resident scholars from India but also to Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs).
UoH Herald congratulates Dr. Vamsi and wishes him the best in all future assignments.
Recent interview of Dr. Vamsi has been pubished in The Hansindia newspaper and can be read on http://www.thehansindia.com/2013/05/09/my-work-may-be-more-useful-to-people-than-govts/