Economist Rajiv Kumar Is New Vice Chairman Of NITI Aayog

Rajiv Kumar will replace Arvind Panagariya at NITI Aayog

(Source: Rajiv Kumar Twitter Handle)
(Source: Rajiv Kumar Twitter Handle)

Economist Rajiv Kumar was named the new Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, five days after the incumbent Arvind Panagariya announced that he would quit the government think tank to return to academics.

The government also appointed Vinod Paul, a pediatrician at AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Science), as a member of the NITI Aayog, an official spokesman said.

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 (CPR). Earlier, he was Secretary General of the FICCI and had also served as Director and Chief Executive of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).

He was a member of the National Security Advisory Board between 2006 and 2008.

He has also served as the chief economist of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and held senior positions in the the Asian Development Bank, the Indian Ministry of Industries, and the Ministry of Finance.

Kumar is also on the boards 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.

Paul has done substantial work in public health.

The appointment for the post of NITI Aayog Vice Chairman was necessitated as the incumbent Panagariya had announced on August 1 that he will leave the government think tank on August 31 and return to Columbia University. Panagariya, an Indian-American, had joined as the first Niti Aayog vice chairman in January 2015.