Sindhushree Khullar and Arvind Panagariya have some key decisions to make as they step up to the positions of CEO and Vice Chairman, respectively, of the newly formed NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog. Replacing the Planning Commission, NITI Aayog is chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and will actively monitor and evaluate implementation of programmes and initiatives. Khullar has some ambitious plans on her mind including to involve the state governments in making India´s economic policies. Prior to this, in her assignment as Secretary, Planning Commission, she was instrumental in enabling secretaries of various ministries to brief Prime Minister Modi once a month on key infrastructure projects. As for noted economist Panagariya - known for his market-friendly views - he has set his focus on the core areas of labour reforms and the SMEs sector.
Going forward, NITI Aayog is looking to undertake a nationwide evaluation of manpower with active participation from the government of all states and union territories, through one of its attached offices, the National Institute of Labour Economics Research and Development. With the Aayog´s first meeting scheduled in the first week of February, all eyes are set on these two, with an expectation that they will be harbingers of transformation in India.