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Fact-Check: Kaushik Basu falsely claims Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, and several other world-renowned persons have PhD in Economics

The persons mentioned in Virginia Tech poster have degree in economics, not PhD

Virulent anti-Modi economist and an ardent supporter of the Congress party, Kaushik Basu recently posted an image on Twitter where he claimed that it is a poster at Virginia Tech, Virginia, USA, and it carried the names of business and political leaders who have a Doctorate degree in Economics.

The poster carried the photographs of world-renowned personalities such as Warren Buffet (CEO of Berkshire Hathaway), Michael Corbat (CEO Citigroup), Roger Goodell (NFL Commissioner), Li Keqiang (Premier, China), Elon Musk (CEO SpaceX and Tesla) and former Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh.

But contrary to the claim made by Basu, not everyone in the said picture has a Doctorate degree in Economics. Elon Musk only has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, so do Michael Corbat, Roger Goodell and Meg Whitman (CEO Hewlett Packard). Warren Buffett has a Master’s degree in Economics while Li Keqiang and Manmohan Singh do have a PhD degree in the subject.

Therefore, the claim made by Kaushik Basu in his tweet is ostensibly false. Names of people having PhD are generally prefixed with the title Dr., and while the former Indian PM is addressed as Dr. Manmohan Singh, most others in the list don’t have that title added to their names. The poster that he shared contains the photographs of people who have a degree in Economics. The purpose was ostensibly to put Manmohan Singh in the company of other renowned figures in his field but it could certainly have been done without making false claims.

Basu, himself, as the Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India oversaw India’s decline into a terrible economic crisis. He had also demanded that Demonetization should be rolled back. On Twitter, his most glorious achievement remains the through humiliation he received from the caustic yet brilliant Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

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