|Arvind Panagariya, first vice-chairman of the NITI Aayog|
- Arvind Panagariya, first vice-chairman of the NITI Aayog, resigns to continue his academia with Columbia University. Nearly a year ago, Raghuram Rajan had decided not to continue as the governor of the RBI.
- Both Rajan’s exit in Sep'2016 and now Panagariya's exit were preceded weeks of sustained attacks on them by the RSS and its outfits. His stated reason that Columbia University declined his further leave extension and, his remark "If I were at 40, then I would have got job anywhere...the kind of job I have at Columbia is almost impossible to get at this age of 64." is so pale and unbelievable.
- It's difficult for a "pure economist" to survive the politically volatile world of economic and monetary planning even if there is a favorable boss.
- Arvind Panagariya and toothless NITI Aayog did some credible work in education, social sector spending, digitalisation of the economy and agriculture.
- Panagariya, a pure economist, delighted by economics, disappointed by the landmines of Indian economic policy planning, the motivated criticism, the lack of space to think and deliver was a bit too much to handle.
- Panagariya's exit proves that bright minds lack the courage to shine in the unlit alleys of governance.
Read Panagariya's brief Q&A with journalists
Modi replacing powerful Planning Commission with teeth less NITI Aayog makes it a redundant body. Advises are being obtained from quacks like Artha Kranthi etc. With top class economists leaving one after another, and replacing them with second grade economists or politicians, where are we heading as a nation? Modi must realize, at least now, that it is easier to demolish than to construct. Next in firing line may be Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser?