Arvind Virmani: Full-time Member of NITI Aayog

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    • Recently, the government has appointed senior economist Dr Arvind Virmani as a full-time member of the NITI Aayog.
      • At present there are three members: Dr V K Saraswat, Professor Ramesh Chand and Dr V K Paul.

    About National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog)

    • About:
      • It was set up in 2015 to replace Planning Commission.
      • It is an Executive Body (acts as a think tank and advisory body)
    • Objective: 
      • To foster the spirit of Cooperative and Competitive federalism through structured support initiatives on a continuous basis.
    • Composition of NITI Aayog:
      • Chairperson: Prime Minister of India
      • Governing Council consists of the Chief Ministers of all the States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories in India.
        • The NITI Aayog’s governing council is the premier body tasked with evolving a shared vision of national priorities and strategies with the involvement of the States and Union Territories. 
        • It presents a platform to discuss inter-sectoral, inter-departmental and federal issues.
      • Regional Councils will be created to address particular issues and possibilities affecting more than one state.
        • These will be formed for a fixed term and summoned by the PM.
        • These will be chaired by the Chairperson of the NITI Aayog or his nominee.
      • Special invitees: Eminent experts, specialists with relevant domain knowledge, which will be nominated by the Prime Minister.
    • Full-time organizational framework:
      • Prime Minister as the Chairperson:
      • Vice-Chairperson (appointed by the Prime Minister)
      • Members:
        • Full-time
        • Part-time members on a rotational basis: Maximum of 2 members from foremost universities, leading research organizations, and other innovative organizations in an ex-officio capacity.
      • Ex Officio members: 
        • Maximum of 4 members of the Council of Ministers which is to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
      • Chief Executive Officer: 
        • The CEO will be appointed by the Prime Minister for a fixed tenure. He will be in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.
    • Key Initiatives and Recent Achievements:
      • Aspirational Districts Scheme.
      • 3 Documents: 3-year action agenda, 7-year medium-term strategy paper and 15-year vision document.
      • Monitoring and Analysing Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP) programme in India
      • Promoted Zero Budget Natural Farming.
      • Promoting ‘Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati’ programme under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY). 
      • Village Storage Scheme

    His achievements

    • He has served as the Chief Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Finance during the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government from 2007-09.
    • He was a member of the Reserve Bank of India’s Technical Advisory Committee on Monetary Policy from February 2013 to August 2016. 
    • He has also served at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Washington DC.
    • He has written several books: 
      • The Sudoku of India’s Growth.
      • From Unipolar To Tri polar World: Multi-polar Transition Paradox.
      • Propelling India from Socialist Stagnation to Global Power.
      • Accelerating Growth and Poverty Reduction – A Policy Framework for India’s Development.

    Source: IE