Washington: Amartya Sen, Indian economist and 1998 Nobel Prize winner in economics, has been felicitated with the National Medals of Arts and Humanities award by the US President Barack Obama at a glittering White House function in Washington.
"We even have an economist, which we don't always get on stage," Obama said referring to 78-year-old Sen, before he presented the 2011 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities.
"Sen is being awarded the 2011 National Humanities Medal for his insights into the causes of poverty, famine, and injustice. By applying philosophical thinking to questions of policy, he has changed how standards of living are measured and increased our understanding of how to fight hunger," said the citation, read by a military aid of the US President.
Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen is the first Indian to be honored with the medal.
Few minutes later, Sen was on the stage to receive the medal from Obama, the two Nobel Laureate were seen chatting on some issues. Nothing was audible though.
Sen also attended the White House reception hosted by President Obama on this occasion. The First Lady, Michelle also attended the awards ceremony.
The 2011 National Medal of Arts were also awarded to Will Barnet, Rita Dove, Al Pacino, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Martin Puryear, Mel Tillis, United Service Organization and Andr Watts.
And the 2011 National Humanities Medal were given to Kwame Anthony Appiah, John Ashbery, Robert Darnton, Andrew Delbanco, National History Day, Charles Rosen sand Teofilo Ruiz besides Sen.