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Arvind Panagariya quits as NITI Aayog vice-chairman

Picture Credit : The Indian Express
Picture Credit : The Indian Express

In a sudden move, Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya on Tuesday resigned from his position and said he will return to academia. Panagariya was handpicked by the Prime Minister Modi to head NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog immediately after its creation on 1 January 2015. NITI Aayog was meant to be in sync with “changing times and requirements of a rising India”.

It may be recalled that in August 2014, PM Modi had announced that the Planning Commission had become redundant, and handpicked Panagariya, the Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy at Columbia University, to head the organisation in its new avatar, the National Institution for Transforming India or NITI Aayog.

According to various media reports, He said he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to relieve him of his duties by August 31 as he was not getting extension of leave from Columbia University.

NITI Aayog, which came into effect on 1 January 2015, replaced the 65-year-old Planning Commission, considered by many in the NDA establishment of being a vestige of the Nehruvian-Socialism era.

A former Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank, the 64-year-old had also worked with the World Bank, IMF and UNCTAD in various capacities. He holds a Ph.D degree in Economics from Princeton University.

In March 2012, Panagariya was honoured with Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award the country bestows in any field.

In August 2014, PM Modi had announced that the Planning Commission had become redundant, and handpicked Panagariya, the Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy at Columbia University, to head the organisation in its new avatar, the National Institution for Transforming India or NITI Aayog.

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