Panagariya to leave Niti Aayog, get back to academics

NITI Ayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagriya quits

Outgoing vice chairman of NITI Aayog Arvind Panagriya will hold his position till August 31 and return to his academic role as professor of economics at the University of Columbia, New York.

Before taking over as the NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman, Panagariya was Professor of Economics and the Professor of Indian Political Economy in the School of global and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Arvind Panagariya, NITI Aayog vice chairman resigned from his post on Tuesday afternoon, according to a report by CNN-News 18.

The Indian-American economist said he meant to teach again as his leave from the Columbia University in New York City ends on September 5, the Hindustan Times reported.

Going by the convention, followed by the erstwhile Planning Commission which was replaced by Niti Aayog, the term was to be co-terminus with that of the Prime Minister, who is the Chairperson of the body. He met the prime minister recently and explained to him why he wanted to leave the NITI Aayog.

Panagariya, who is standing down after two-and-a-half years in the job, said he is satisfied with the stint in which his team built the organisation's foundation and forged ties with the Centre and states.

Among other achievements, he said, the Niti Aayog has been able to push privatisation, especially of sick units and Air India, prepare the ground for reforms in several sectors including medical and higher education, and develop a good working relationship with the states.

NITI Aayog was meant to be in sync with "changing times and requirements of a rising India". He is a former Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank and Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland at College Park.

A seven-year "Strategy" and 15-year "Vision" for India have yet to be published.

President of India had honored Panagariya with prestigious "Padma Bhushan" award. But we were against policies of Niti Aayog on labour laws and disinvestment of PSUs.

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