Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya today said he has suggested to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to find a full-time Sherpa for G20 talks as India’s role is expanding in the global arena. Panagariya today announced that he will leave the government think tank on August 31 and return to Columbia University. He was appointed India’s Sherpa for G20 talks in September 2015, replacing Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. “Globally India’s role is expanding. I have suggested to the Prime Minister that perhaps we need to find a full-time Sherpa … Globally so many things are happening,” Panagariya said.
Sherpas, who are representatives of leaders of G20 member countries, coordinate on the agenda of a summit. As per the practice, the deputy chairman of the erstwhile Planning Commission used to be the Sherpa for G20 talks. During the UPA regime, former deputy chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia was Sherpa for G20 talks.
Panagariya was India’s Sherpa for the 12th G20 summit held on July 7-8 in Hamburg, a major port city in Northern Germany. The G20 is the central forum for international cooperation on financial and economic issues. The G20 countries account for more than four-fifths of gross world product and three-quarters of global trade, and are home to almost two-thirds of the worlds population.