Arvind Panagariya on Tuesday resigned as the vice chairman of the Niti Aayog. The 64-year-old said he will return to academics in the US. During a recent interview to Forbes India, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant had said: We have been asked by the government to advise on strategic disinvestment and we at Niti Aayog have given four reports. "My leave in Columbia University is coming to an end on September 5 and I made a decision to join back", was all that Panagariya said about his resignation on Tuesday.
NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog came into effect on January 1, 2015, replacing the Planning Commission.
"Prof Kumar says he has interacted with Prof Panagariya twice".
NITI Aayog was formed as a premier "think tank" meant to formulate policies for the Government of India, providing both directional and policy inputs. He is likely to be relieved from his post on August 31.
In his resignation letter, Panagariya has also said that he wants to resume his teaching job at Columbia University where he was working as a professor of Indian political economy. At US universities one can teach as long as ones health permits. August 31 will be his last day in office.
Panagariya said: "I would not have got a similar job".
Panagariya was the sherpa for the Prime Minister at the recently-concluded G20 meeting in Germany and he had always been a supporter of the Modi government, vocally backing its various reform measures, including the demonetisation.
A seven-year "Strategy" and 15-year "Vision" for India are yet to be published.
President of India had honored Panagariya with prestigious "Padma Bhushan" award.
Before he took up the Niti Aayog assignment, he was a professor at Columbia University, chief economist at the Asian Development Bank and also has a PhD in economics from Princeton University.
The Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, a farmer union affiliated to the ruling BJP's ideological mentor RSS, called several Niti Aayog proposals anti-farmer and anti-labour.