Arvind Panagariya has suggested to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to have a full-time G20 Sherpa (personal representative of a member country’s leader), a task he currently handles as NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman. Panagariya, who stepped down on Tuesday, is learnt to have made the suggestion in his letter to Modi in which he requested that he be relieved from his duties to pursue his academic career at the Columbia University.
“Under your bold leadership, the stature of India on the global stage has rapidly risen. Nothing illustrates this better than the attention you received from the world leaders at the recent G20 Summit in Hamburg,’’ Panagariya is learnt to have written.
“This means that going forward, the work of G20 Sherpa would expand. To ensure that the work of the NITI Aayog and G20 engagements receive due attention, it may be worth considering separating these roles in future.’’ He noted that a full-time Sherpa would be a necessity if India were to host a G20 summit.
Panagariya highlighted rising demands regarding NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman’s time. “During the past two years, the responsibilities of the NITI Aayog have multiplied at a fast pace. This has meant rapidly rising demands on the time of the Vice-Chairman.”
Panagariya is learnt to have told Modi that his wife was also keen to return closer to their children and this was another reason for him to step down. Panagariya has informed Modi that it will allow him to resume his employment at the Columbia University from September 5.