Arvind Panagariya, Vice-President of Niti Aayog, on Tuesday said he will leave the government of India’s policy making think tank on August 31. In an interview with TOI, Panagariya revealed the main reason behind leaving the Niti Aayog. “Moving back to academia” is the reason why he is leaving the government think tank which he had joined back in 2015. While talking about his move to leave the office, Panagariya said the intention to leave Niti Aayog has been there for many days now but has come to the surface all of a sudden, which is why people are shocked with his move. While talking about going back to academia, Panagariya said his leave from Columbia University was ending by the end of this month on August 31. Panagariya had talked about it with PM Narendra Modi a couple of months ago. “The PM was, of course, was very supportive and said he would like me to stay for the full term,” he told TOI.
Panagariya said that his Public Service leave (which is granted for two years by the university) could not be extended further by the varsity. “When I joined, I got some extra months and I have been here for two years and eight months.”
While talking about the Columbia University Panagariya said it would be “almost impossible” for him to get a job again at Colombia University as in the US, there is “no retirement age. As long as our body and brain work, you can continue to work.”
When asked about his achievements at Niti Aayog during his tenure at the government think tank, Panagariya the ‘list is long.’ “We have been able to establish the NITI Aayog as a recognized institution with its own personality completely from scratch….We had inherited something from the Planning Commission. The mandate was very different….It was for us to win the trust of the states.”