Amitabh Kant, the architect behind Startup India, Make in India, and Digital India programmes was on Wednesday given a two-year extension as Chief Executive Officer of the Niti Aayog, an official order said.
Kant was appointed CEO of Niti Aayog on February 17, 2016 for a fixed two-year term. He has been given an extension until June 30, 2019 and his two-year term was to come to an end by the end of this month. The extension has been approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet with the order issued by the government on the same terms and conditions, the Personnel Ministry said in the order.
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Kant is from the 1980 IAS batch and was part of the Kerala cadre and before taking over as the CEO of National Institution for Transforming India (Niti Aayog), he was Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, which has been rechristened as the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.
Amitabh Kant along with Niti Aayog also created a three-year action plan for the country last year. Some of the highlights of the plan include - building a framework for fiscal prudence and financial health of the country; making agriculture productive, which was clearly visible in the Union Budget 2018, rapid urban development, as well as putting forth a plan about how public-private partnership can push digital India, while creating a vision for India to be a leader in healthcare and education.
Further, Kant has been a big enthusiast of entrepreneurship activity in the country.
Back in 2016, while addressing a gathering of business community in Mumbai, he said,
"India is going through a demographic transition and is growing at 7.5 percent per annum, whereas the rest of the world is facing a very barren economic landscape. If we have to grow at 9-10 percent, we have to foster a huge entrepreneurial spirit. The power of compounding growth is huge. India is very complex, difficult to do business in. A lot of rules, regulations and acts that have been built over the last 68 years are slowly being dismantled. We need to accelerate this pace. We have just scrapped 1,053 laws."
In addition to this, Kant has also stressed on gender parity as a key driver for growth and said that for India to be a centre of innovation and for the startup movement to thrive, it needs to focus on global markets and for this, it is important to increase the total factory output and produce at scale.