PM Modi clears Arvind Panagariya for Niti Aayog’s vice-chairman
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared the name of US-based economist Arvind Panagariya as vice-chairman of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Ayog, a new avatar of the Planning Commission, government sources said on Friday.Professor Panagariya may be given the status of a Cabinet rank at the NITI Ayog at the Yojna Bhawan which now sports a new board.
“The Prime Minister has cleared his name so formal order for his appointment is likely to be issued next week,” a top official from the PMO told Hindustan Times. He added that other members of the body will be appointed subsequently.
Panagariya, 62, has acquired a reputation as an expert on economic reforms, may be conveying himself as a reformer aiming to make the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s economic reform more efficient.
An academic with a doctorate in in Economics from Princeton University, Panagariya worked in the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
A former professor at Economics and Co-director, Center for International Economics, University of Maryland at College Park, Panagariya and current Professor of Indian Political Economy in the Department of International and Public Affairs and of Economics, at Columbia University, was born at Jaipur in Rajasthan.
The formation of Niti Aayog has ended the uncertainty among the staff. They were almost without work since the resignation of the Planning Commission’s Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and other members in May last year and later the announcement of disbanding of 65-year old body by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence day speech.
The Aayog will have a Vice-Chairman and five full time members who are likely to join next week following the announcement of their appointment shortly.
The Socialist-era Planning Commission was replaced yesterday by a new think-tank, NITI Aayog, that will be headed by the Prime Minister and will have all Chief Ministers as members in a broad-based Governing Council to involve states in evolving national development priorities.
The inclusion of Chief Ministers and Lt. Governors in the Governing Council is a break with the past in the structuring of Niti Aayog which Modi, has described as a landmark change that will foster spirit of cooperative federalism.
The body will also have a CEO and two part-time members, while four union ministers would serve as ex-officio members.