Rajiv Kumar, who is set to replace Arvind Panagariya as the new vice-chairman of NITI Aayog by the end of this month, in his recent column referred to the exit of two veteran economists in the last one year, saying “more such resignations can come.” While talking about the ongoing policy transformation in the Narendra Modi-led NDA government, Kumar talked about how the foreign influence on Indian policy making by Indian-American economists is fading. Mentioning the exit of Arvind Panagariya and former RBI chief Raghuram Rajan, Kumar in his column wrote, “if Lutyens’ Delhi rumours are to be believed, more such resignations can come.”
Kumar went on to talk about the resignation of veterans and the appointment of many others as a part of the transformation that the country is going through. He said as a result of this transformation, the country may witness the appointment of many other individuals with a much better understanding of India’s ground realities. “A key transformation taking place on the policy front in the current central government led by Narendra Modi is that the colour of foreign influence, especially Anglo-American, on the Indian policy making establishment that came in the last few decades, is fading away. Raghuram Rajan has already left. Now, Arvind Panagariya has also announced his resignation from his post ahead of his term being completed. If Lutyen’s Delhi rumours are to be believed, more such resignations can come. In their place, we may see experts being posted who understand India’s ground realities in a much better manner, and who can commit to stay and work till their term ends,” Kumar wrote in his column.
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Rajiv Kumar will take over the post as the Vice chairman of Niti Aayog after Panagariya. Kumar has a DPhil in Economics from Oxford University and a PhD from Lucknow University. In past he has held many senior positions in the Ministries of Industries and Finance and is currently serving as founding director of Pahle India Foundation, a non-profit financial, economic and political research think-tank.