Arvind Panagariya is NITI Aayog's first VC: All you need to know about him

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An Indian-American Columbia University economist, Arvind Panagariya was on Monday appointed as the vice-chairman of the NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog, the think-tank that replaces the Planning Commission as part of an ambitious project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

NITI Aayog VC Arvind Panagariya

Who is Arvind Panagariya?

  • Panagariya, 62, is renowned Indian-American economist.
  • Panagariya has been one of the most vocal supporters of Narendra Modi's ‘Gujarat model of growth'.
  • In a book co-authored by him (India's Trust with Destiny: Debunking Myths that Undermine Progress and Addressing New Challenges), he used 'Gujarat Model' as a metaphor for development.
  • He is known for his market-friendly views and is a close associate of well-known trade economist Jagdish Bhagwati.
  • He is from Rajasthan and holds a PhD from Princeton University (New Jersey). 
  • He has authored over 15 books, including, Why Growth Matters, (with Jagdish Bhagwati).
  • He has been honoured with Padma Bhushan in 2012.
  • He had earlier been appointed as the vice-chairman of the Rajasthan Chief Minister's Economic Advisory Council.

Panagariya's journey- From a Rajasthan University graduate to Columbia University professor

  • Panagariya did his graduation from Rajasthan University.
  • He is a professor of economics at Columbia University (New York).
  • Panagariya was the Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank and a Professor of Economics and Co-director, Center for International Economics, University of Maryland at College Park.
  • He has also worked for the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in various capacities.

Panagariya's new role

  • Arvind Panagariya, as vice-chairman, would have a pivotal role in coordinating economic strategy and will hold Cabinet rank.
  • His market-friendly, pro-growth economics could be influential in shaping the first full budget of the Narendra Modi government which is expected in February.

NITI Aayog: What will be it role?

  • The NITI Aayog will create a knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurial support system through a collaborative community of national and international experts, practitioners and partners.
  • It will offer a platform for resolution of inter-sectoral and inter-departmental issues in order to accelerate the implementation of the development agenda. 
  • In addition, the NITI Aayog will monitor and evaluate the implementation of programmes, and focus on technology upgradation and capacity building. 
  • The Aayog will also provide policy support to more than 50 million small businesses, which are a major source of employment creation.
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