In a surprising development, the Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya has resigned saying that he will return to academia.
According to many TV reports, 31 August (Monday) will be his last day in office.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had replaced the age-old Planning Commission with the Niti Aayog in 2015. Panagariya, an Indian-American economist, was handpicked by Modi soon after he created Niti Aayog on 1 January 2015.
According to sources, he had recently met Modi, who is the chairman of Niti Aayog, to inform him about his decision to quit. However, sources said that Panagariya’s decision to quit was due to differences with Amitabh Kant, the Aayog’s CEO. One source said that two individuals, two heavyweights in their own right, couldn’t get along well.
Before joining Niti Aayog, Panagariya was a professor at Columbia University. He also served as the chief economist at the Asian Development Bank.
Last year, Raghuram Rajan, the former Reserve Bank of India governor, also an economist of global repute, had walked out of India because of his troubled relationship with the Modi government.