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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

PM Modi rejigs Niti Aayog, 4 ex-officio members in

According to official sources, besides Shah, Defence Minister Rajanth Singh, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar will be ex-officio members.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2019 00:46 IST
Anisha Dutta
Anisha Dutta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday approved reconstitution of policy think tank Niti Aayog, renaming Rajiv Kumar as its vice chairman
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday approved reconstitution of policy think tank Niti Aayog, renaming Rajiv Kumar as its vice chairman(PTI File Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the reconstitution of the policy think tank of the government, NITI Aayog, ahead of its first meeting in the National Democratic Alliance’s second term on June 15.

In a statement issued by the cabinet secretariat on Thursday, Rajiv Kumar continues as vice chairman in the reconstituted body, and VK Saraswat, Ramesh Chand and VK Paul as full-time members.

The name of economist, Bibek Debroy, was dropped in the statement.

“Mr Bibek Debroy will continue to work in his capacity as chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM),” a senior Niti Aayog official said, requesting not to be named.

Modi had revived the EAC-PM in September 2017 with Debroy as the chairman.

Debroy was also chairman of the high-powered committee set up by the railway ministry in 2014 to restructure the Indian Railways and was instrumental in proposing radical reforms.

The names of ex-officio members in the reconstituted Niti Aayog were also changed on the Niti Aayog website.

As per the cabinet secretariat statement, PM Modi, who is also the chairperson of the policy think tank, appointed home minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar as ex-officio members.

The prime minister also appointed road transport minister Nitin Gadkari, commerce & industry and railway minister Piyush Goyal, social justice minister Thawar Chand Gehlot and statistics & programme implementation minister Rao Inderjit Singh as special invitees to the panel, as per the earlier statement.

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, who was given an extension till June 30, 2019, will continue in his role till the end of his tenure, the official quoted above said.

Kant is a 1980-batch IAS officer of the Kerala cadre. He was appointed CEO of the policy think tank on February 17, 2016, for a two-year term.