New Delhi, Jan 13: The first Vice-Chairman of the newly-created NITI Aayog, noted economist Arvind Panagariya, took charge here today.
The NITI Aayog CEO Sindhushree Khuallar and other senior officials briefed the Vice-Chairman about the newly created body. Panagariya is expected to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is the Chairman of the Aayog, later in the day.
Economist Bibek Debroy and former DRDO chief V K Saraswat were appointed as full-time members by the Prime Minister. They are expected to join shortly. [Also read: Arvind Panagariya is NITI Aayog's first VC: All you need to know about him]
NITI Aayog has replaced the 65-year old Planning Commission, a vestige of the socialist era.
Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Suresh Prabhu and Radha Mohan Singh will be the Ex-Officio members while their colleagues Nitin Gadkari, Smriti Zubin Irani and Thawar Chand Gehlot would be Special Invitees.
The government had notified the Cabinet resolution (on January 7) regarding the constitution of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog which was approved by the Prime Minister on January 1.
The government had also notified the names of the office bearers of the Aayog.
The 62-year-old Panagariya is an Indian-American economist and Professor of Economics at Columbia University. The earlier Planning Commission had a Deputy Chairperson at the helm, with Prime Minister as its chairperson.
Panagariya is known for his market-friendly views and is a close associate of well-known trade economist Jagdish Bhagwati. Panagariya has earlier been the Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank and a Professor of Economics and Co-director, Centre for International Economics, University of Maryland at College Park.
Holding a Ph.D degree in Economics from Princeton University, Panagariya has also worked for the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organisation, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in various capacities.