Economist Rajiv Kumar was on Saturday appointed as the new vice-chairman of NITI Aayog, succeeding well-known economist Arvind Panagariya for the coveted post. Vinod Paul, head of the Pediatrics department at AIIMS, was also appointed as a member of the NITI Aayog.
Earlier this week, 64-year-old Panagairya had stepped down as vice-chairman of the Niti Aayog after requesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to relieve him of his duties by August 31 to allow him to return to Columbia University as a professor of economics.
Kumar, who holds a DPhil in economics from Oxford and a PhD from Lucknow University, is a senior fellow at public policy think-tank Centre for Policy and Research (CPR) and has authored several books on the Indian economy and India’s national security.
Before coming to CPR, Kumar served as Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). He had also held positions as 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), as well as in positions with the Asian Development Bank, the Indian Ministry of Industries, and the Ministry of Finance.
Moreover, he is a member of 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.