Mr Kumar is likely to take charge by the first week of September, official sources said.
New Delhi: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Saturday named economist Rajiv Kumar as the new vice-chairman of Niti Aayog, just four days after Arvind Panagariya resigned from the post, requesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to relieve him by August 31. Mr Kumar is likely to take charge by the first week of September, official sources said.
Sources added the Centre has also appointed Dr Vinod Paul, a paediatrician at AIIMs, New Delhi, as member of the think tank. Dr Paul will be the fourth member of the Aayog, which has economist Bibek Debroy, agriculture economist Ramesh Chand and scientist V.K. Saraswat as its three members. Dr Paul has done substantial work in the public health sector.
Mr Kumar, who holds a DPhil in economics from Oxford and a PhD from Lucknow University, is a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR). He was secretary general of the industry body Ficci between May 2011 and October 2012. He had succeeded Amit Mitra at the post, after the former had become the finance minister of West Bengal in May 2011.
Apart from this, Mr Kumar has also served as director and chief executive of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). He was a member of the National Security Advisory Board between 2006 and 2008.
The noted economist has also served as the chief economist of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and held senior positions in the Asian Development Bank, the Indian ministry of industries, and the ministry of finance. Mr Kumar is also a member of boards of several international and national institutions, including the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Riyadh, the Economic Research Institute for Asean and Asia in Jakarta, the State Bank of India, and the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.