On Jan. 10, Kal Chakraborty, professor of economics, received a letter informing him that he had been nominated for the 2013 Hind Rattan, or Jewel of India, award from the Non-Resident Indians Welfare Society of India. Shortly after, he was notified that he had won, and began preparing to travel to New Delhi to receive the award. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India, presented the award to Chakraborty on Jan. 25.
At first, Chakraborty said he didn’t believe that he had really won.
“There are 12 million Indians abroad, there are excellent researchers, excellent scientists, and when I Google searched how many Americans had won it, I found only two or three, and they are very renowned professors,” Chakraborty said. “I am nowhere close to them.”
The award is presented to Indians who keep the flag of India high in the world through outstanding contribution, services, achievements and accomplishments, according to the organization.
Peggy Lane, professor of accounting and information systems, said that the department is very proud of Chakraborty, and excited to have him at ESU.
“It’s not every day you get an award from your country,” Lane said
Chakraborty has been a citizen of the United States since the early 1990s, and has been a professor at ESU since 2000. Since first coming to America, however, he has maintained a connection to India, presenting several workshops, as well as maintaining a scholarship for low income Indian children in high school and elementary school.
Chakraborty said that his scholarship, which has been operating for the last 10 years, is open for boys and girls in India, enabling them to pursue higher education in science and the arts.
It wasn’t until after he got into contact with a former recipient, a professor in Germany who confirmed the validity of the prize, that Chakraborty booked his flight to New Delhi.
Chakraborty said that he usually teaches three economics courses a semester. Kylie Mains, junior business administration and accounting major, said that Chakraborty was able to make economics easy to understand and relate to in his classes.
Aaron Freeze, sophomore information systems major, agreed.
“I think that Dr. Kal is a really good teacher,” said Freeze. “The way that he teaches, he combines a really good knowledge of his subject on top of being able to have fun in the class, too.”
Chakraborty said that he will be meeting with President Michael Shonrock today to discuss the award.