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5 things you should know about Arvind Panagariya

Noted Indian-American economist Arvind Panagariya is expected to be the Vice-Chairman of the Niti Aayog, which will replace the Planning Commission. The Niti (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog is likely to go full throttle as early as next week. 

Here are a few things you should know about Arvind Panagariya:

1. Panagariya, the Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy at Columbia University, was the chief economist at the Asian Development Bank. He holds a Ph.D degree in economics from Princeton University.

2. He was a professor of economics and co-director, Center for International Economics, University of Maryland at College Park. Panagariya, a protege of prominent economist Jagdish Bhagwati,  has also worked for the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organisation, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in various capacities.

3. Panagariya has written/edited 10 books. His latest book, India: The Emerging Giant, was published in March 2008 by the Oxford University Press, New York, and has been described as the ‘definitive book on the Indian economy’ by CNN and ‘a tour de horizon and a tour de force’ by Jagdish Bhagwati.

4. Panagariya has also edited the India Policy Forum, a journal modeled on the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity and jointly published by the Brookings Institution, Washington, DC and the National Council on Applied Economic Research, New Delhi.

5. The economist has been supporting Narendra Modi for the past few years and has openly spoken in favour of his success as a chief minister of Gujarat. In an article for Business Standard in October 2013, he noted: “Gujarat also deserves applause for the large cuts in poverty among the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Muslims. At 7.7 per cent, Gujarat boasts the lowest poverty ratio for Muslims in rural areas. The state also counts among the seven states with lower poverty ratio for Muslims than Hindus in rural and urban areas combined.”

In another article recently, he applauded the Prime Minister, saying he has brought unprecedented vigor to his office. “He [Narendra Modi] restored confidence among the bureaucracy, improved inter-ministerial coordination and greatly speeded up environmental clearances. The inspector raj was curtailed by the introduction of self-certification, with inspections limited to a small sample of randomly selected factories. Red tape was cut for new businesses via the introduction of a single-window facility.”

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