Economist Rajiv Kumar appointed as new Vice-Chairperson of NITI Aayog

Rajiv Kumar
Rajiv Kumar
Noted economist Rajiv Kumar has been appointed as Vice-Chairperson of the NITI Aayog to succeed Dr. Arvind Panagaria, who has resigned from the position to return to academics in the United States.
A notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had approved:
"Accepting the request of Dr. Arvind Panagaria to relieve him from the post of Vice-Chairperson, NITI Aayog w.e.f. 31.08.2017;
"Appointment of Dr. Rajiv Kumar as Vice-Chairperson, NITI Aayog vice Dr. Arvind Panagaria, until further orders, on the same terms and conditions as were applicable to the previous Vice-Chairperson, NITI Aayog."
The notification also said that the ACC had approved the appointment of Dr. Vinod K. Paul as Member, NITI Aayog, until further orders, on the same terms and conditions as are applicable to other full-time Members of the NITI Aayog.
Dr. Kumar, a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy and Research (CPR), New Delhi, had earlier served as Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). 
He has also served as Director & Chief Executive of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and chief economist of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), as well as in positions with the Asian Development Bank, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the Ministry of Finance.
He is also Chancellor of the the Gokhale Institute of Economics and Politics in Pune and the founding director of Pahle India Foundation, a non-profit research organisation that specialises in policy-oriented research and analysis.
Dr. Kumar, who holds a DPhil in economics from Oxford and a PhD from Lucknow University, has written several books on the Indian economy and India's national security. 
He presently sits on the 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. He was a member of the Government of India's National Security Advisory Board between 2006 and 2008.
Dr. Paul is a professor and chair of the Department of Paediatrics at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) who has worked in the area of public health for long.
He leads the WHO Collaborating Centre on Newborn Health for South East Asia Region; and the Centre for Advanced Research in Newborn Health (Indian Council of Medical Research). He is also a visiting professor at the Public Health Foundation of India.
Dr Paul is the chair of the Technical Advisory Group on Child Health, and co-chair of the Newborn Health Action group of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; and has been a member of the High Level Expert Group on Universal Healthcare Coverage of the Planning Commission the country.
He developed the Maternal and Child Health strategy for RCH II program under National Rural Health Mission, the Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI). He is a member of the core group on health, the National Human Rights Commission of India; a member of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization, and co-chair of the Commission on Health of the state of Himachal Pradesh.
Prof Paul is recognized among the key academics worldwide who brought newborn health to the centre-stage for the attainment of MDG 4 through writings, research and advocacy efforts at highest international fora. He is the principal author of the historic Delhi Declaration on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (2005). He contributed to the formulation of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health and the Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP).
Dr Paul is the recipient of the highest award of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) -- the Dr B. R. Ambedkar Centenary Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research. He was recently conferred the Public Health Champion Award by WHO India.
Economist Bibek Debroy, agricultural economist Ramesh Chand and scientist V K Saraswat are the other three full-time members of NITI Aayog.
The Narendra Modi government had, on January 1, 2015, replaced the Planning Commission with the NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) to serve as a "think tank" of the government and a directional and policy dynamo.
The NITI Aayog is meant to provide governments at the central and state levels with relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy.


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