A PhD in economics from Harvard University, USA, and former Principal Advisor in Planning Commission, senior economist Dr Arvind Virmani has been appointed by the Indian government as a full-time member of the NITI Aayog.
The founder-chairman of the non-profit public policy organisation Foundation for Economic Growth and Welfare, Virmani was appointed as the Chief Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Finance from 2007 to 2009 during the UPA-1 government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Virmani’s appointment notified on November 15.
“The Prime Minister approved the appointment of Shri Arvind Virmani, Founder, Chairman, Foundation for Economic Growth & Welfare as Full-Time Member, NITI Aayog with immediate effect and until further orders, on the same terms and conditions as are applicable to Full-Time Members of NITI Aayog,” the Cabinet Secretariat’s notification read.
NITI Aayog, which replaced the Planning commission in 2014, is government of India’s premier think-tank headed by the Prime Minister himself.
Currently, NITI Ayog has three full-time members including Dr V K Saraswat, Professor Ramesh Chand, and Dr V K Paul.
Before this Virmani has served a long career with the Indian government.
From 2013-16, Virmani served as a member of the Reserve Bank of India’s Technical Advisory Committee on Monetary Policy.
He has also served at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Virmani was appointed as the Executive Director by the International Monetary Fund in 2009. His tenure at IMF went on till 2012, in which he represented India (as its Ambassador to IMF), Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan.
Virmani has worked with two previous finance ministers of India, P Chidambaram and Pranab Mukherjee, and now will work with Nirmala Sitharaman the current finance minister of India.