The Union government on 5 August 2017 appointed noted economist Rajiv Kumar as the new Vice- Chairman of NITI Aayog. Kumar would be succeeding Arvind Panagariya, who recently announced his resignation in order to return to the field of academics.
Kumar, who holds a doctorate in economics from Oxford University and Lucknow University, is a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), a public policy think-tank. He has also authored several books on the Indian economy and India’s national security.
About Rajiv Kumar
• He is the Chancellor of the Gokhale Institute of Economics and Politics in Pune and the founding director of Pahle India Foundation, a non-profit research organisation that specialises in policy-oriented research and analysis.
• Prior to serving at CPR, he was the Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
• He has also previously served as the 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 held prominent positions with the Asian Development Bank, the Indian Ministry of Industries, and the Ministry of Finance.
• He is also a board member of several international and national institutions including the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Riyadh, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and Asia in Jakarta, the State Bank of India, and the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.
• He also served as a member of the Government of India's National Security Advisory Board from 2006 to 2008.
The appointment came five days after Panagariya made his sudden announcement to quit. The Indian-American had joined as the VC of Niti Aayog in January 2015. After two and half years of service, the 64-year-old requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to relieve him of his duties by 31 August so that he could return to teaching as an economics professor at the prestigious Columbia University in New York City.
Besides Kumar, the government also appointed Vinod Paul, a pediatrician at the AIIMS, as a member of NITI Aayog. Paul has done substantial work in public health.
Who: Rajiv Kumar
When: 5 August 2017
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