New NITI Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar hints at more exits after Panagariya

According to a column by Kumar, foreign influence on Indian policy making is fading under Modi

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Under Narendra Modi, foreign influence on Indian policy making is fading away, writes Rajiv Kumar, who has been selected to replace Arvind Panagariya as the new vice-chairman of the NITI Aayog. In a column published by Hindi daily Dainik Jagran, while referring to Panagariya’s exit earlier this month and Raghuram Rajan’s decision last year to return to academia after completing his three-year stint as the RBI governor, Kumar writes that if “rumours in Lutyens’ Delhi” are to be believed, more such resignations may occur.

According to Kumar’s column, as the “Anglo-American” influence fades, India may see the appointment of homegrown experts who understand its ground realities better than their foreign counterparts and who will be willing to stay and work until the end of their terms.(economy policy)

Kumar, who holds a DPhil in Economics from the Oxford University and a Ph.D. from the Lucknow University, also argues in his column that it has taken a long time for the Indian policy establishment to shed what he describes as its “Macaulayist mentality”.

Kumar writes that in the past, experts emerging from domestic academic institutions have been turned down for high-ranking government positions in favour of their foreign counterparts. As a result, Kumar argues, Indian policies have been influenced by organisations like the IMF, the World Bank, and the foreign universities that these imported experts revere.

As reported earlier, Kumar, a homegrown economist who likes to keep a low profile, is currently a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) and has also served as the director of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). CPR and ICRIER are two of the biggest think-tanks in the country….

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