Three years after assuming power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday formed an Economic Advisory Council (EAC) amid the government’s endeavour to give a push to growth which has witnessed a slowdown. The newly constituted five-member EAC will be headed by NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy. It will also include NITI Aayog’s Principal Advisor Ratan Watal as its member and economists Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy and Ashima Goyal as part-time members. Here are some details about the members:
Bibek Debroy: Debroy is currently a member of Niti Aayog. He is a well-known economist and has authored/edited several books, papers and popular articles and has also been a Consulting/Contributing Editor with several newspapers. As per his profile on Niti Aayog’s official website, he has worked in following professional bodies: Presidency College, Kolkata (1979-83), Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune (1983-87), Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi (1987-93) as Director of a Ministry of Finance/UNDP project on legal reforms (1993-98), Department of Economic Affairs (1994-95), Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies (1997-2005), PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (2005-06), Centre for Policy Research (2007-2015).
Surjit Bhalla: He is a well-known economist. He is the Chairman and MD of Oxus Investments, a New Delhi-based economic research, asset management, and emerging-markets advisory firm. As per his website – ssbhalla.org, Bhalla holds a PhD in Economics from Princeton University, a Master in Public and International Affairs from Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, and a BSEE degree from Purdue University. He is also the author of Imagine There’s no Country: Poverty, Inequality and Growth in an era of Globalization (2002). Bhalla remains actively engaged in economic and policy research and publishes academic research articles regularly. He has served several government committees as its member, including the two capital account convertibility committees of the RBI (1997 and 2006). The well-known economist has also been a member of the Secondary Market Advisory Committee of SEBI and of the National Statistical Commission of India.
Rathin Roy: He is the director of National Institute of Public Finance and Policy. This senior economist has been the Director of Asia Pacific Regional Centre, UNDP, Bangkok, and the Director, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG), UNDP, Brazil. Roy has also served Public Resource Management Advisor, and the Acting Cluster Leader, Inclusive Development, in the Poverty Practice, Bureau for Development Policy (BDP), UNDP. Roy served as the Economic Advisor to the Thirteenth Finance Commission, a Constitutional body of the Government of India, on special invitation.
Ratan Watal: A former Finance Secretary, Ratan P Watal currently serves as the Principal Advisor for social sector in Niti Aayog. Watal, a retired IAS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, had been Finance Secretary between August, 2016 and April, 2017.
Ashima Goyal: She is currently associated as a professor in Mumbai’s IGIDR Institute. She is a well known economist and is widely published in institutional and open economy macroeconomics, international finance and governance. Goyal has participated in research projects with ADB, DEA, GDN, RBI, UN ESCAP and WB, her profile on Hindu Bussiness Line says. Goyal is also the co-editor of a Routledge journal in Macroeconomics and International Finance.