Economist Rajiv Kumar becomes new vice chairman of NITI Aayog
Rajiv Kumar, who holds a DPhil in economics from Oxford and a PhD from Lucknow University, is a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research.Updated: Aug 05, 2017, 23:20 IST
The government on Saturday appointed economist Rajiv Kumar as the new vice chairman of the NITI Aayog, replacing Arvind Panagariya who had resigned on August 1. Kumar is expected to take charge after August 31 when Panagariya vacates the position.
Official sources also said Dr Vinod Paul, professor and chair of the department of paediatrics of neonatology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences at New Delhi, has been appointed a member of the government’s policy think tank. Apart from the Vice-chairman and the CEO, the Aayog has positions for four full time members in the rank of ministers of state. One of these positions is lying vacant.
A DPhil in economics from Oxford University and an author of books on economics and national security, Kumar is currently a senior fellow at the Centre for Poicy Research at Delhi. He has served as Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Director and Chief Executive of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and chief economist of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). He has also served on the Asian Development Bank and in the ministries of industries and finance.
Kumar was also on the National Security Advisory Board from 2006 to 2008 when the Congress-led UPA was in power.
Panagariya, 64, surprised many when said last week he was returning to academics and would resume teaching at Columbia University abruptly ending his tenure at the government policy think tank. He had joined the government policy think tank headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2015. After coming to power in May 2014, the Modi government had disbanded the Nehruvian-era Planning Commission and replaced it with the Aayog.
Dr Paul is credited with developing the maternal and child health strategy of the government and also served at the headquarters of the WHO.