India's economy remains a bright spot amidst dark clouds of recession and inflation which have engulfed the global economy. But it still faces a battle with headwinds in tumultous times, as retail inflation has once surged, and US-China tensions threaten trade. Amidst these times, a crucial planning body such as the NITI Aayog needs someone with experience tackling a turmoil, and ex-commerce secretary BVR Subrahmanyam fits the bill.
Worked closely with two Prime Ministers
Hailing from Andhra Pradesh, the 59-year-old is an IAS officer of the 1987 Chattisgarh Cadre, and has had two stints at the Prime Minister's Office. He first served under Manmohan Singh between 2004 and 2008, and then from 2012 to 2015, as Narendra Modi became Prime Minister. Subrahmanyam has an engineering degree, and also went on to study management from the London Business School.
Experience in conflict zones
His experience with conflict zones started in 2015, when he was sent to Chhattisgarh, a state hit by the Maoist insurgency. Apart from being Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Subrahmanyam was given charges of jail and transport, on the Chief Minister Raman Singh's personal request to PM Modi. By facilitating coordination between central forces and state police, Subrahmanyam was credited for tackling the insurgency, and also announced record number of Naxal deaths in encounters during his tenure.
Overseeing a major change in Kashmir
As PM Modi's trusted official, Subrahmanyam was later deployed in Jammu and Kashmir in 2018, at a time when the PDP-BJP government was crumbling. It was under his watch as Chief Secretary for the state, that Article 370 was scrapped, stripping J&K of its special status. He was later heard saying in an interview that not a single soul cried over the detention of mainstream political party leaders in Kashmir, due to their misgovernance in the broken state.
Sudden exit from key position
Following his stint in the conflict-ridden state, Subrahmanyam was appointed Commerce Secretary and later the Chairman and MD for the India Trade Promotion Organisation for two years. But during the year of India's G20 Presidency, Subrahmanyam exited the post in just one month, and was replaced by Pradeep Singh Kharola.
After the post of the NITI Aayog CEO was vacated by Parameswaran Iyer, who has now become Executive Director of the World Bank, Subrahmanyam has been elevated to the crucial position.
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