Arvind Panagariya quits as NITI Aayog vice-chairman

NITI Ayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagriya quits

Arvind Panagariya has resigned as chief economic advisor to the government 2-1/2 years after he was brought in to steer the newly-constituted government think-tank and policy guide, NITI Aayog.

Panagariya, 64, was quoted by finance newswire Newsrise as saying on Tuesday he is returning to Columbia University.

Panagariya had earlier questioned the need for the Planning Commission but was later appointed the Vice Chairman of Niti Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), which replaced the Planning Commission.

The Indian-born, US-educated economist picked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as vice-chairman of the government's main policy think-tank said he is returning to NY in September.

"Prof Kumar says he has interacted with Prof Panagariya twice". It was created as a premier "think tank", meant to frame policies for the Indian Government, giving directional as well as policy inputs.

Panagariya, 64, said the work he was doing at the university would be very hard to get at his age. Panagariya said he had expressed his desire to the Prime Minister about two months ago to step down from the government's policymaking machinery.




He is the second economist after former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan to quit a top job in India and return to academics in the US. At US universities one can teach as long as ones health permits. "If I were at 40, then I would have got [a] job anywhere. the kind of job I have at Columbia is nearly impossible to get at this age", he said while addressing reporters in New Delhi.

He will serve the think tank till August-end.

Going by Panagariya's record in office, he seemed perfectly in-sync with the Modi government's actions on the economy and general policy legislation - something that previous heads of the Planning Commission didn't always seem to care about while speaking on the initiatives of respective governments of their time.

President of India had honored Panagariya with prestigious "Padma Bhushan" award.

Panagariya has authored more than 15 books, including the most recent "Why Growth Matters: How Economic Growth in India Reduced Poverty and the Lessons for Other Developing Countries", with Jagdish Bhagwati, which The Economist had described as "a manifesto for policymakers and analysts".

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