Arvind Subramanian is India's new chief economic adviser

In a major bureaucratic reshuffle, the appointments committee of the cabinet today approved the appointment of US-based economist Arvind Subramanian as the government's chief economic adviser, on a day when Arvind Mayaram was shifted out of finance ministry.

Arvind SubramanianArvind Mayaram who was holding the post of economic affairs secretary, has been transferred to the tourism ministry. He will be replaced by his batchmate and 1978 batch Rajasthan cadre officer Rajiv Mehrishi, currently the chief secretary of Rajasthan.

Arvind  Subramanian, who was educated in India and Britain, went on to serve at the IMF and the GATT, the forerunner to the World Trade Organisation, before taking senior academic posts at Harvard and Johns Hopkins universities in the United States.

He is the Dennis Weatherstone Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and Senior Fellow at the Centre for Global Development.

His award-winning book Eclipse: Living in the Shadow of China's Economic Dominance was published in September 2011 and has printed 130,000 copies world-wide in four languages.

Sources say his proximity to RBI governor Raghuram Rajan must have worked in his favour. Rajan, another internationally renowned academic, long based in the United States, was the government's chief economists before he was made governor of the central bank.

Foreign Policy magazine named Arvind Subramanian one of the world's top 100 global thinkers in 2011, and in the same year, India Today magazine named him one of the top 30 Masters of the Mind in India over the last thirty years.

He has worked in the research department of the IMF (1992-2013), the GATT (1988-1992) during the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations, and taught at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government (1999-2000) and the School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University (2008-2010, and 2014).

He has written on India, growth, trade, development, institutions, aid, climate change, oil, intellectual property, the WTO, China, and Africa. He has published widely in academic and other journals, including the American Economic Review (Papers and Proceedings), Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of International Economics, Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Economic Growth, Journal of Development Economics, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Journal of African Economies, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, International Monetary Fund Staff Papers, Foreign Affairs, World Economy, Journal of Globalization and Development, and Economic and Political Weekly.

Soon after he was appointed to the post, Subramaniam told the media that his focus will be on growth, investments and providing equitable growth for all Indians.

"It is an honour and privilege to serve for the government that has a mandate for reform and change," Subramanian added.

"I need to understand a lot more before making comments. We need to create investor-friendly conditions. Economic stability is a must to improve investment scenario," he said.