Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairperson
Dr. Rajiv Kumar is a leading Indian economist and has recently been appointed, the Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog by the government of India. He is the author of several books on India’s economy and national security. His latest books are Modi & His Challenges (2016), Resurgent India: Ideas and Priorities (2015) and Exploding Aspirations: Unlocking India’s Future (2014). He is a widely recognized economic columnist and a leading speaker on issues in Indian political economy.
Presently, he is: (i) Founding Director of Pahle India Foundation (PIF), Delhi; (ii) Chancellor of the Gokhale Institute of Economics and Politics (A Deemed University, Pune). PIF, a non-profit think tank focuses on facilitating economic policy change based on objective and rigorous research.
He concurrently serves as: (i) Government of India nominated Independent Director on Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India; (ii) Member of the International Board of Management of King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, Riyadh, chaired by the Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy; (iii) Director, Institute of Human Development, Delhi; (iv) Director, Giri Institute of Development Studies, Lucknow; (v) Independent Director on the Board of DHFL; and (vi) Member, Advisory Board of CISCO, India.
Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO
Shri Amitabh Kant is presently posted as CEO, NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India). He was till recently Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
Amitabh Kant is a member of the Indian Administrative Service, IAS (Kerala Cadre: 1980 Batch). He is the author of “”Branding India – An Incredible Story”” and has been a key driver of “”Make in India””, Startup India, “”Incredible India”” and “”God’s Own Country”” campaigns which positioned and branded India and Kerala State as leading tourism destinations. These campaigns have won several international awards and embraced a host of activities – infrastructure development, product enhancement, private-public partnership and positioning and branding.
Amitabh Kant has worked as Chairman & CEO, Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corporation, CMD – ITDC, Joint Secretary – Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Secretary – Tourism, Government of Kerala, Managing Director, Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, District Collector, Kozikhode and Managing Director, Matsyafed.
Amitabh Kant did his schooling from Modern School, Delhi, Graduation in Economics (Hons) from St. Stephens, Delhi University and M.A from Jawaharlal Nehru University. He is a Chevening Scholar.
Shri R P Gupta, Special Secretary
Shri R. P. Gupta is an IAS Officer of 1987 Batch of Gujarat cadre. He did B. Tech. from IIT, Kanpur in Aerospace Engineering. Apart from working in the field assignments in earlier part of his career as District Development Officer, Municipal Commissioner, District Collector etc., he mainly worked in the field of education, land record and energy at the policy making levels. In every field, the focus was on streamlining the system and introduction of modern technology to make the system more people friendly and responsive to their needs.
In the area of land records, digitization of village maps and land parcels and synchronizing them with satellite imagery along with geo-stationery tagging was done. Resurvey of state of Gujarat using modern technology was also started this time.
In the field of education, he introduced completely transparent computerized system of teachers’ recruitment enabling the State to recruit tens of thousands of teachers purely on merit in a short period of one month. His other contribution was in conceptualizing and implementing an annual assessment of quality of education in about 35000 Government schools in the state of Gujarat in digitized format to compare schools, tehsils and districts across the State but also enabling improvement or deterioration over time and assessing teachers’ performance.
He also worked as Secretary, Department of Food and Civil Supplies dealing with the Public Distribution System (PDS). In this capacity, apart from fully computerizing the PDS right from Fair Price Shop to State Government level, system of biometric authentication was implemented to eliminate the leakages. In this capacity he also dealt with LPG and Kerosene distribution through PDS as cooking and lighting fuel. In the area of energy, he has worked in Ministry of Coal as Joint Secretary for two and half years and in Energy Department of Government of Gujarat. In his last assignment he was working as Additional Secretary in NITI Aayog dealing with the subjects of Energy, Transport, Health, Education and Rural & Urban Development.
Presently, he is working as Special Secretary in NITI Aayog.
Shri Rajnath Ram, Adviser (Energy)
Shri Rajnath Ram is currently the Adviser (Energy) at NITI Aayog, Government of India. He has been working on Government policy and program formulation related to Oil and Natural Gas, Renewable Energy, Power, and Coal. He is also leading the initiative of Energy Data Management to create a robust energy data management system of international repute and is in charge of the initiative to set up an Energy Modelling Unit within the NITI Aayog. He has published various articles on the Shale gas, PMUY, and Energy Data Management.
Mr. Ram has also worked as Joint Adviser (Infrastructure) in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board, heading the technical standard division wherein he was associated with the formulation of technical standards and specification including safety standards pipelines of petroleum and natural gas, city gas distribution networks and of Emergency Response and Disaster Management Plans (ERDMP) of Indian Oil & Gas Sectors and Onsite verification of ERDMP. In addition, he looked after the overseas engagements – India-US Energy Dialogue, India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, NITI Aayog – DRC, PRC Dialogue, and the Twinning program with Australia.
Mr. Ram is a B.Tech in Petroleum Engineering from IIT (ISM) Dhanbad and an MBA from Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Delhi.
Shri Manoj Kumar Upadhyay, Senior Research Officer
Shri Manoj Kumar Upadhyay is currently the Senior Research Officer (Energy & International Cooperation Vertical) at NITI Aayog, Government of India. He joined NITI Aayog (Erstwhile Planning Commission) in Oct, 2012.
He has been working on Government Policy & Regulation in Environmental Economics & Climate Change, Renewable Energy Generation, Conventional Energy Generation [Thermal (Coal & Gas), Hydro and Nuclear], Transmission & Distribution System, Allocation & Supply of Coal, Gas and Petroleum Products.
He is also looking after successful implementation of several schemes of Ministry of Power such as UDAY Scheme for financial improvement of DISCOMs, IPDS Scheme for power system infrastructure and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Joyti Yojana for rural electrification.
Before joining NITI Aayog, Shri Upadhyay was working with the Ministry of Micro Small Medium Enterprises as Assistant Director (Industrial Management). He was instrumental in establishing the Techno-Managerial Consultancy to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. In addition, Mr. Upadhyay also worked with different private organizations on different capacities such as project manager etc.
Shri Upadhyay is B.Tech in Electrical Engg, MBA in Marketing & MA (Sociology) and a trained consultant in Environment Impact Assessment of projects, Project Management & Energy Conservation
Ms. Poonam Kapur, Economic Officer
Ms. Poonam Kapur is currently the Economic Officer (Energy & International Cooperation Vertical) at NITI Aayog, Government of India. She joined NITI Aayog (Erstwhile Planning Commission) in Nov 2007, as a Research Assistant in States Plan (South) Division.
She has been working on Government Policy & Regulation in Conventional Energy Generation [Thermal (Coal & Gas), Hydro and Nuclear], Transmission & Distribution System, compilation for the management of data bank in the power sector. The data bank includes entities like power sector installed capacity, peak demand & energy deficit, an average cost of supply, average revenue realised , gap between (ARR & ACS), AT&C losses , T & D losses, billing efficiency, collection efficiency, average tariff and commercial profits & losses of the utilities etc.
She is also looking after the successful implementation of several schemes of Ministry of Power such as UDAY Scheme for financial improvement of DISCOMs, IPDS Scheme for power system infrastructure and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana for rural electrification.
She has done her B.A (H) in Economics and MA Economics as well as B.ed from Maharishi Dayanand University.
Ms. Saumya Pandey, Young Professional
Saumya Pandey is a Young Professional working in the Energy and International Cooperation vertical, primarily in the Coal sector. A data analyst by profession, she is dealing with international organisations such as World Bank and GIZ, and research institutes such as TERI. She is working on the National Energy Policy, India Energy Security Scenarios – 2047 (Version 3.0), Vision Document - 2035, India Energy Dashboards, energy data management and modelling activities, and policy formulation for coal washeries and coal gasification.
Prior to working with NITI Aayog, she was the team lead for data warehouse of Ayushman Bharat for the state of Chhattisgarh at Religare Health Insurance Company Limited. She dealt with reporting and analysis of data, and detection of fraud claims. She briefly worked with Wipro Limited and ICICI Lombard GIC.
Saumya did her Integrated M.Tech in Mathematics and Computing from IIT (ISM) Dhanbad. She held the position of Treasurer at Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics – IIT(ISM) Dhanbad Student Chapter. She is an active volunteer supporting environmental causes through non-profit organisation Iamgurgaon, and National Service Scheme.
Shri. Kowthamraj VS, Young Professional
Kowtham raj is currently a Young Professional in the Energy and International Cooperation Division of NITI Aayog. He primarily works on how to use emerging renewable technologies to energize development among other energy division duties. His areas of interest include strategies/policies for energy storage, alternate energy carriers (hydrogen, methanol etc), new energy mobility and RE financing. He supports the division’s collaboration with different ministries and international agencies in addition to supporting the division’s efforts to resolve industry complaints/requests.
He graduated with an M.S from the world’s first Energy Storage & Conversion program as an Alistore Scholar from 3 countries in EU, with industry placement in Cheonan, South Korea (dubbed world’s battery capital) at Umicore N.V. He had stints in a United Nations agency (UNIDO HQ, Vienna) in Climate Technology & Innovation team and served as Global Industrialization Advisor to the CEO of clean hydrogen firm Gilman Industries LLC, New York . He was also supporting SME development as a Graduate Engineer in Polymer sector immediately after his B.Tech from Madras Institute of Technology.