Economic policy

India’s major economic policy think tanks and changes in their leadership

New Delhi: World Bank economist Deepak Mishra was appointed as the next director and managing director of India’s leading think tank Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) on Monday. The move comes at a time when several other economic policy think tanks have witnessed a shift in leadership.

The National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) has also announcement a selection process for a new chief executive, who will take over after incumbent Shekhar Shah’s term ends in 2021. The think tank did not say when exactly Shah’s term ends.

In June 2020, former RBI Governor Urjit Patel was appointed Chairman of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), a think tank that works with the government on policy reforms. Patel was appointed after the end of his tenure of economist Vijay Kelkar.

In the same organisation, Rathin Roy, a former member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, left his post as director in June 2020 and was replaced by economist Pinaki Chakraborty.

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ICRIER, established in August 1981, is a think tank on “autonomous, political, non-profit economic policy”.

“ICRIER’s main objective is to improve the knowledge content of policy-making by undertaking analytical research aimed at informing policy makers in India,” its website states.

Prior to Deepak Mishra’s appointment, the think tank was headed by Rajat Kathuria, who had served as Director and General Manager since September 2012.

Currently, Mishra is the World Bank’s Trade and Investment Practice Manager for East Asia and the Pacific region. He also has served as the World Bank’s Country Economist for India from 2001 to 2003. Mishra worked closely with state governments such as Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Punjab.

He holds a master’s degree in economics from the Delhi School of Economics and a doctorate from the University of Maryland.


NCAER was established in 1956 and is India’s “oldest” economic policy research institute. The work of the think tank has from a distance growth, macroeconomic, trade and economic policy; investment, industry, infrastructure, labor and urban climate; agriculture and rural development, natural resources and environment; poverty, equity, human development and consumers.

The NCAER has announced the selection process for a new CEO as Shekhar Shah’s term comes to an end. Before joining the NCAER in January 2013Shah has been World Bank Regional Economic Advisor for South Asia. He holds a BA in Economics from St Stephens College, University of Delhi, and an MA and PhD in Economics from Columbia University.

NCAER is now seeking a candidate with over 20 years of professional experience in public policy, multilateral, research management and policy development roles.


Founded in 1976, the NIPFP is a research institution specializing in economics and public policy. The think tank contributes research in the areas of revenue and taxation, budget management, public expenditure, macroeconomic policies and fiscal federalism.

Prior to joining the NIPFP, Urjit Patel served as RBI Governor, resigning in 2018 after a long public clash with the Narendra Modi government over the transfer of capital reserves, classification of NPAs and lending restrictions on banks. weak. However, Patel had cited “personal reasons” in his resignation letter.

Patel is expected to serve a four-year term as NIPFP president, as is usually the case for the position. However, his predecessor, Vijay Kelkar, had a slightly longer tenure, having been appointed President on November 1, 2014. Kelkar has been chairman of the 13th finance commission before taking over as head of the NIPFP. He was also an adviser to the Minister of Finance in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

Rathin Roy, meanwhile, stepped down as director of the NIPFP in June 2020, having started his tenure in May 2013.

In September 2019, he was removed from his position on the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council.

His successor, Pinaki Chakraborty, was the head of social policy at UNICEF before his appointment as Director of NIPFP.

(Edited by Shreyas Sharma)

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