While the race to the post of chief economic adviser is hotting up, two names — Raghuram Rajan, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, and Ajay Chibber, assistant secretary-general of the United Nations Development Programme — have emerged as frontrunners for the post.
Officials with inside information said Rajan, who is known to be close to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, could well emerge winner.
"There is a very good equation between Rajan and the PM," an official told HT on condition of anonymity.The present CEA, Kaushik Basu's term comes to an end on July 31.
Government officials say that one of the problems during Basu's tenure was of implementation. A large part of the CEA's vision has to translate into policy for effective governance, said one offcial. "We did not see this happening in the case of Basu," he said.
DH Pai Panandiker, president, RPG Foundation said that Rajan would be a good choice for the post. "Rajan has a wide view of the economy and his ideas and opinion as CEA would be invaluable," he said.
A three-member search committee headed by C Rangarajan, chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC), is currently on the job of locating suitable candidates for the post of chief economic advisor.
Eighteen applications have been received, and Rajan and Chibber have been shortlisted, sources said.