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Rajiv Kumar steps down, Suman Bery named new vice-chairman of Niti Aayog

Noted economist Suman K Bery will take charge as the vice-chairman of the government’s think tank Niti Aayog on May 1 and will remain in the office till further orders, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet said late Friday.

He will replace Rajiv Kumar who has resigned from the post, but will continue in office till April 30. Bery will join the think tank as a full-time member with immediate effect.

A senior visiting fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, Bery was director-general of the National Council of Applied Economic Research between 2001 and 2011.

Kumar took over as vice- chairman of Niti Aayog in August 2017 after his predecessor Arvind Panagariya exited.

With Kumar at the helm, Niti Aayog, which replaced the erstwhile Planning Commission, played a crucial role in policy-making. With the cessation of the Five Year Plans and the removal of the distinction between Plan and non-Plan outlays, Niti Aayog has focused on envisioning the development plans for the country and served as a fulcrum of ideas. There have also been occasions when it reviewed the government’s policy initiatives with a critical eye.

It also developed energy-and-climate and sustainable development indices for assessing Indian states and these were noted for their objectivity.

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