Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, reportedly, cleared the name of acclaimed economist Aravind Panagaria to be appointed as the first Vice-chairman of the ‘Niti Aayog’; a policy body and think-tank which has replaced 65 years old ‘Planning Commission’ on Thursday. Arvind Panagariya has been a big admirer of Modi’s Gujarat model of development and had bated for Modi even before his land-slide victory in general elections 2014. Previously he was tipped to become economic advisor (ECA) to the PM. Pangaria is a professor of economics at Columbia University, New York. Formerly he served Asian Development Bank as chief economist and also worked with the IMF, WTO and World Bank in various capacities.
‘Niti Aayog’ marks a big shift from socialist era and its Indian construct which is widely termed as Nehruvian model of development. In the month of May this year Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, had resigned.
The newly constituted body, also known as ‘NITI’, introduces itself as “National Institution for Transforming India’. Headed by Prime Minister ‘NITI Aayog’ will have all chief ministers and Lt Governors of UTs in its governing council.