Arvind Panagariya, the eminent Economist, has been appointed as Vice-Chairman of NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog, the newly formed body replacing Planning Commission of India. Panagariya is a professor of Economics in Columbia University.
Bibek Debroy, Economist and Dr. V.K. Saraswat, Former Secretary Defence R&D were appointed as the full-Time Members of NITI Aayog by the Prime Minister. Besides, the Prime Minister has also appointed seven ministers in the panel -four ministers as ex-officio members and three minister as special invitees.
The four Union Ministers appointed as ex-officio members were Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Suresh Prabhu and Radha Mohan Singh. The three Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Thawar Chand Gehlot and Smriti Zubin Irani have been appointed as Special Invitees.
The 65 year old Planning Commission was replaced by a new body NITI Aayog by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing the institution of stifling growth with Soviet-style bureaucracy. Modi tweeted to his 9.1 million followers “pro-people, pro-active & participative development agenda” about the NITI Aayog announcing replacement of the planning commission.
NITI Aayog will act like a think tank for central as well as state governments as unlike Planning Commission it included chief ministers of state and Union Territories in its Governing Council. However, the Congress leaders criticised the Prime Minister for disbanding the 65 year old institution – Planning Commission.