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Know New NITI Aayog CEO Who Led India’s Swachh Bharat Mission

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Parameswaran Iyer, the former secretary of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and a retired civil servant who led the Swachh Bharat cleanliness mission, has been appointed as the new CEO of the NITI Aayog, said the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said in a notification on Friday. His tenure will last two years.

Iyer, 63, will replace incumbent CEO Amitabh Kant, whose tenure ends on June 30. “Iyer has been appointed for a period of two years or until further orders, whichever is earlier, on the same terms and conditions as were applicable in respect of Amitabh Kant,” according to the notification.

Kant was appointed as the NITI Aayog CEO on February 17, 2016, for a period of two years, which was extended till June 30, 2019. Kant was further given an extension for two more years till June 2021, and then another one-year extension till June 30 this year.

Kant is a 1980-batch retired IAS officer of the Kerala cadre. During his time at the Niti Aayog since 2016, Kant established himself at the top level of the government in policy matters relating to industrial development, technology and investment.

The Niti Aayog, the government think-tank, is developing itself as a state-of-the-art resource centre with the necessary knowledge and skills that will enable it to act with speed, promote research and innovation, provide strategic policy vision for the government, and deal with contingent issues. It is supported by an attached office, Development Monitoring and Evaluation Organisation (DMEO), a flagship initiative, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and an autonomous body, National Institute of Labour Economics Research and Development (NILERD).

NITI Aayog’s entire gamut of activities can be divided into four main heads — Policy and Programme Framework; Cooperative Federalism; Monitoring and Evaluation; and Think Tank, and Knowledge and Innovation Hub.

Who is Parameswaran Iyer?

Iyer is a 1981-batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre. He remain 17 years in service and then took voluntary retirement in 2009 to join the World Bank. He worked on the water and sanitation initiatives of the World Bank in Vietnam, China, Egypt, Lebanon and Washington.

He returned to India in 2016 and joined the central government as the secretary of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DoDWS). He was the man behind the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which was aimed at eradicating open defecation by constructing about 90 million toilets in the rural regions of the country. In July 2020, he resigned from his post of secretary of DoDWS and later went on to work with the World Bank in the US.

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