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Parameswaran Iyer to take over as Niti Aayog CEO as Amitabh Kant leaves

Parameswaran Iyer, a 1981-batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre and a well-known sanitation specialist, has been appointed the chief executive officer of Niti Aayog, after Amitabh Kant retires on June 30.

Parameswaran Iyer, Niti Aayog, Amitabh kantIyer will be replacing Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant(Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

AFTER A six-year-long stint, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant is set to leave the government policy think tank at the end of June. He will be replaced by former Secretary of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation Parameswaran Iyer, who spearheaded the government’s Swachh Bharat Mission.

Iyer’s initial tenure will be for two years, according to a notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training.

A 1980-batch retired IAS officer (Kerala cadre), Kant took over as the NITI Aayog CEO in 2016 — he last got an extension, by a year, in June 2021. During his time at the organisation, Kant drove the policy push in areas related to industrial development, technology and investment. He is seen as having played a key role in the government’s flagship ‘Make in India’ scheme and was also behind the Aspirational Districts Programme, which was targetted at improving the socio-economic outcomes in some of the most backward districts.

He was also the chairman of Empowered Group-3, one of the 11 groups set up by the Centre to tackle the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The group worked with the private sector, NGOs, and international organisations for pandemic management activities, including the management of international aid.

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Earlier, in his capacity as the Secretary of the erstwhile Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Kant pushed the Ease of Doing Business initiative, which led to the emergence of state-specific rankings.

Iyer, 63, meanwhile, took voluntary retirement from the IAS in 2009, after 17 years in service. In 2016, he returned to helm the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation as Secretary. He spearheaded the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a campaign to eradicate open defecation by constructing over 90 million toilets in rural India. He resigned from the post in July 2020, and later went on to work with the World Bank in the US.

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Iyer earlier worked as Senior Rural Water Sanitation Specialist at the United Nations. He also worked with the erstwhile Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh in the field of education.

First published on: 24-06-2022 at 04:51:18 pm
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