Friday, March 10, 2023

“If you imagine someday it will happen if you do not imagine it will never happen : Prof. Mohammad Yonus, Nobel Laureate


Nobel Laureate Prof. Mohammad Yonus delivers lecture at JMI


Prof. Mohammad Yonus, Nobel Laureate and founder of Bangladesh Grameen Bank delivered the inaugural lecture (Online) of the Nobel Laureate Lecture Series being organised by the Department of Economics, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) on 6 th  February, 2023.

The Programme started with the introductory address by Prof. Asheref Illiyan HoD Department of Economics, JMI. He warmly welcomed the guests and participants from India and abroad. He highlighted that it is a historic and memorable day as we have been able to fulfil the long cherished dream of inviting a Nobel Laureate to the Department.

Prof. Najma Akhtar, Vice Chancellor, JMI in her presidential remarks highlighted the university’s recent achievements in getting NAAC A++ grade and emerging as the 3 rd  top university in India (NIRF, 2022). She complimented the Department of Economics for bringing such luminaries to Jamia and organising innovative programmes. Prof. Najma Akhtar also stressed the importance and relevance of the work that Prof. Mohammad Yonus has done in the field of microfinance, microcredit, Yonus Social Business (YSB) and pro-poor growth across the globe.

Prof. Mohammad Yonus in his lecture explained the situation of Bangladesh in the 70s, which was facing lot of poverty, unemployment, disease, famine and mortality. Then he decided to do something that will be helpful to the poor and identified one malpractice which was the main culprit of the widespread exploitation and persistent poverty i.e. loan distress. To address this there is need for a banking system which is collateral free and documentation free and hence he set up Bangladesh Grameen Bank in 1983. The popularity of this non- conventional banking system has created a buzz around the world. Prof. Yunus expressed that the loan repayment is almost 100 percent in the Grameen Banks over the last 40 years. The Grameen Bank prioritised the credit to the women as they are the one who had hardest hit at the time of economic despair. As a result, almost 97 percent of the credit lenders of the Grameen Banks are women. This model is successfully adopted in different parts of the world including the USA.

At the end Prof. Yonus raises some serious concerns about our approach towards personal interests and profit maximization. He also opined that the current economic system is the main culprit of increasing global warming, mass unemployment and wealth concentration. Thus, we have to act for creating 3 zeros which can be understood through zero carbon emission, zero wealth concentration, and zero unemployment. He has appealed the participants more particularly young people to develop a 3 zero club of 5 members. Then this chain will go on to create a new civilization. Therefore, Prof. Yonus exhorted that before it becomes too late we should make an attempt to escape the failure of present human civilization. Thus, universities, academicians and policy makers have to play a crucial role in designing this new economic order where not only personal interest matters but our collective interest also matters. He concluded his speech by using his famous quotation “If you imagine someday it will happen if you do not imagine it will never happen”.

The programme concluded with vote of thanks proposed by Prof. B. Srinivasu, Coordinator, Lecture Series, Department of Economics, JMI.


Public Relations Office

Jamia Millia Islamia 

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