The Department of Personnel and Training announced on Friday that Former Drinking Water and Sanitation Secretary Parameswaran Iyer has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NITI Aayog.
With that Suman Bery, noted economist and member of the PM Economic Advisory Council, has taken over as Vice Chairman.
Will the change of leadership also lead to a change in focus for NITI Aayog?
The government has been wanting a shift in NITI Aayog's approach and priorities. Under the new leadership, NITI Aayog is likely to see a greater focus on social sector schemes and redistribution measures.
"With the latest changes, NITI Aayog is likely to put more emphasis on aiding those at the bottom of the pyramid," sources told CNBCTV18.
For a long time, NITI Ayog has been working on export competitiveness, bringing down the cost of credit, and pushing divestment and capital formation. As the new shift has happened, it is yet to be seen how much NITI Aayog will be involved in implementing government schemes in future.
As in the past, there have also been differences within the government over NITI Aayog's close involvement in the formation and implementation of government schemes.
"Now, with the new leadership, NITI Aayog is likely to get a new team of senior officials to lead agriculture, asset monetisation, divestment, energy, labour and employment, skill development, and development monitoring verticals," added the sources.
At least five top officials of NITI Aayog are moving on after the completion of tenure. Rajeshwar Rao, Rakesh Sarwal, Sekhar Bonu, and Ajit Pai are among other senior officials moving on from NITI Aayog on completion of tenure.
Former vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar has also completed his tenure and the tenure of Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, ends on June 30.
More about Parameswaran Iyer
Iyer's term will start after the completion of Kant's term. He will become the third chief executive of the public policy think-tank of the government.
In 2009, Iyer voluntarily retired from the Indian Civil Services. In the same year, he became the World Bank's Water Resources Manager. He joined the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation as its Secretary in 2016. Additionally, he had served at the United Nations as a senior rural water sanitation specialist.
In 2016, the government-appointed Iyer to implement its Swachh Bharat Mission. Iyer resigned as Secretary of the Drinking Water and Sanitation Department at the Jal Shakti Ministry in 2021.