Persons in News 2017

Economist Rajiv Kumar appointed as Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog

The Union Government has appointed economist Rajiv Kumar as the new vice-chairman of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog.

Rajiv Kumar will succeed Arvind Panagariya. As Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog he will hold cabinet minister rank. Prime Minister is ex-officio Chairperson of the Aayog.

Government also appointed Vinod Paul, head of the Pediatrics department at AIIMS as a member of the NITI Aayog.

About Rajiv Kumar

Rajiv Kumar holds a DPhil in economics from Oxford and PhD from Lucknow University. He is a senior fellow at public policy think-tank Centre for Policy and Research (CPR). He has authored several books on the Indian economy and India’s national security.

Kumar also has served as Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). He had also held positions as Director and Chief Executive of Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and chief economist of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), as well as in positions with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Indian Ministry of Industries, and Ministry of Finance.

Moreover, he is also member of boards of several international and national institutions, including the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre in Riyadh, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and Asia (ERIAA) in Jakarta, State Bank of India (SBI), and the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT). He was also member of the Indian Government’s National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) from 2006 and 2008.

NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Union Government, providing both directional and policy inputs. It had replaced the 65-year old Planning Commission established in 1950.


Eminent Scientist Pushpa Bhargava passes away

Veteran molecular biologist Pushpa Mittra Bhargava passed away in Hyderabad. He was 89. Bhargava was the founding director of Hyderabad based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB)

About Pushpa Mittra Bhargava

Born in Ajmer on February 22, 1928. He had earned his Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from Lucknow University. He had started his career with Central Laboratories for Scientific and Industrial Research.

His pioneering vision and efforts led to the founding of CCMB in 1977 as an institution for research in basic biology and for seeking its application for benefit of society. Under his leadership, CCMB had done pioneering research in cell, DNA and molecular biology with close industry linkages. He was strident critic of introduction of genetically modified crops in India.

He was actively engaged with issues in science and policy and served vice chairman of National Knowledge Commission constituted in 2005. He was chairman of the Drafting Committee for the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (Regulation) Bill 2013.  He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1986.