Amitabh Kant

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Amitabh Kant
Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog (33897600400).jpg
Kant at the WTTC Global Summit 2017
2nd CEO of NITI Aayog
Assumed office
17 February 2016
Preceded bySindhushree Khullar
Personal details
Born (1956-03-01) 1 March 1956 (age 66)
Spouse(s)Ranjeeta Kant
Alma materUniversity of Delhi
Jawaharlal Nehru University
OccupationCivil Servant
WebsiteOfficial website

Amitabh Kant (born 1 March 1956) is the second and current chief executive officer of NITI Aayog,[1] a public policy think tank of the Government of India. He is a 1980 batch retired IAS officer of Kerala cadre.[2]

Early life[edit]

Amitabh Kant was born on 1 March 1956. He first studied at Modern School, Delhi, graduated with a degree in Economics (Hons.) from St. Stephen's College, Delhi[3] and earned an M.A. in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University.[4] He is a Chevening Scholar.[5]


Amitabh Kant is the CEO of NITI Aayog.[6] He is a member of the Indian Administrative Service, IAS (Kerala Cadre: 1980 batch). He is the author of Branding India – An Incredible Story, The Path Ahead: Transformative Ideas for India,[7] and Incredible India 2.0- Synergies for Growth and Governance.[8]

India Today, in its 45th Anniversary special issue, featured Kant as one of the 45 celebrated Indians.[9]

Kant was listed as one of the world's 50 most influential people revolutionizing governance by Apolitical, a global government learning platform.[10]

Kant has also been Chairman of the Empowered Committee on the transformation of Aspirational Districts Programme of the Government of India, which was launched by the Prime Minister of India in 2018.[11]

In addition to his current role as the CEO of NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant serves as a Director in the board of the National Highways Authority of India, Member of the Digital Communications Commission of India, Director of the Board of the India International Convention Centre, member of the National Statistical Commission of India, Member of the National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT) and the Chairman of the Executive Council of the National Institute of Labour Economics, Research and Development. In the past, Amitabh Kant has worked as Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), 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. In Kerala, he also served as the Sub Collector of Telicherry, Commissioner of Rural Development and as Principal Secretary and Special Commissioner (Industries). During his tenure in Kerala he structured the Calicut Airport as a private sector project based on User’s Free and developed the BSES Power Project and Mattanchery Bridge under Private Public Partnership.[12] He was also responsible for introducing new technology (fiberglass crafts and outboard motor) in the fisheries sector and launching beach level auctions which substantially enhanced returns to traditional fishermen.[13] He began his IAS career working as sub collector of Thalassery.[14]

Kant is also involved in various initiatives of the World Economic Forum. He is on the Global Advisory Board, Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network. He is a Steering Committee Member of the EDISON Alliance which is focused on bridging the digital divide. He is also on the Board of Stewards, Advanced Manufacturing and Production and is Member of the Regional Action Group on South Asia. He served as Chair of the Regional Strategy Group India from 2017 to 2020.

Kant has received a number of recognitions for his work in the field of governance. He received the Economic Times Policy Change Agent of the Year Award,[15] the Bloomberg TV Personality of the year Award,[16] the NDTV Administrator of the year Award and the Distinguished Fellowship of the Institute of Directors. He is the recipient of One Globe Award-2016 for leadership in Transforming Governance for the 21st Century. He is also the recipient of Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship awarded by the Prime Minister of New Zealand.[17] He is a Member of the Steering Board of “Shaping the Future of Production Systems” of World Economic Forum. He is also the recipient of Golden Peacock Award for Leadership in Economic Transformation-2017.

In April 2018, speaking at an event at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia, Kant said that eastern Indian states are mainly responsible for India’s poor show in HDI. He particularly pointed out Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan and stated that the BIMARU states of the past continue to pull India backward on social indicators.[18][19] He also said that India mainly lags behind in education and health and emphasized that India needs to focus on social indicators to improve country’s HDI. In 2019, Kant said that Madhya Pradesh needs to work on Human Development Index to get rid of the 'BIMARU' tag in ten years.[20]

In December 2020, Kant reportedly attracted controversy after he remarked at a public event that "tough reforms" were "very difficult in the Indian context" as "we are too much of a democracy". The remarks were made at an event hosted by Swarajya magazine, and sponsored by Indian mining company, Vedanta. The comments were widely reported by several news outlets, including the Press Trust of India, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Firstpost, and India Today, and a video of the speech was hosted online by Swarajya magazine.[21][22][23][24][25][26] Kant later denied making the remarks, and Hindustan Times withdrew their report on the comments.[27][28][29] Independent fact checking website Alt News confirmed that the original news reports had quoted him verbatim and that it was unclear why several publications had removed their stories or changed their headlines.[30] Kant later disputed these reports, claiming that his comments had been misconstrued. "What I said and what has been ascribed to me are poles apart. My statement, with relevant portions, is that India is too much of a democracy to mirror a China model. How this has been misconstrued to mean we have 'too much democracy' is both myopic and idiosyncratic. Let me reiterate — there is nothing ambiguous about what I said. The entire conversation is available in the public domain"[31]

India Today's High & Mighty rankings of 2019 featured Kant as one of the most powerful people in India under the category of "The Supercrats - India's Top Bureaucrats" along with other bureaucrats such as Nripendra Misra and Ajit Doval.[32]

He has been engaged by Sansad TV (a merged Global TV Channel of Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV) as a Guest Anchor along with some other senior celebrated experts from diverse fields such as Dr Karan Singh, Bibek Debroy, Shashi Tharoor, Hemant Batra, Maroof Raza and Sanjeev Sanyal to present some flagship programmes.[33][34]


  1. ^ "India's startup movement is fast gaining momentum: Amitabh Kant". Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  2. ^ "NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant's tenure extended by one year". The Hindu. 2021-06-29. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2021-07-23.
  3. ^ "Did you know these 6 top office holders in India went to the same college?". India Today. 17 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Tourism Tales with Amitabh Kant". Retrieved 2021-07-23.
  5. ^ "Chief Executive Officer".
  6. ^ "Hand over schools, colleges, jails to private sector: Amitabh Kant". The Times of India. July 27, 2017. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  7. ^ "The Path Ahead: Transformative Ideas for India". Rupa Publications. July 27, 2017. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  8. ^ Bhattacharya, Amitabha (February 9, 2020). "Book Review- Incredible India 2.0: Synergies for Growth and Governance; Words of hope". Financial Express. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  9. ^ Punj, Shwweta (January 4, 2021). "The Kerala tourism secretary job was seen as a lousy posting: Amitabh Kant". India Today. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  10. ^ "Agile 50: the World's 50 Most Influential People Revolutionising Governance". Apolitical. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  11. ^ "About The Aspirational Districts Programme". NITI Aayog. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
  12. ^ "TFrom selling India to building a corridor, Amitabh Kant faces his biggest challenge yet". Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  13. ^ "Amitabh Kant". Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  14. ^ "Reviving Nostalgic Memories: DIPP secretary Amitabh Kant's journey to Tellicherry, his first posting". Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  15. ^ "ET Awards 2015: DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant honoured with "Policy Change Agent" Award". Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  16. ^ "Bloomberg TV India presents Disruptors award 2016". Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  17. ^ "Sir Edmund Hillary Fellow praises New Zealand". Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  18. ^ "States like Bihar, UP, MP making India backward: NITI CEO Amitabh Kant". Business Standard India. 2018-04-24. Retrieved 2021-07-23.
  19. ^ "States Like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are Keeping India Backward, Says NITI Aayog CEO". News18. 2018-04-23. Retrieved 2021-07-23.
  20. ^ Saxena, Deshdeep (January 13, 2019). "MP needs to work 10 more years to get rid of BIMARU tag: Niti Aayog CEO". The Times of India. Retrieved 2021-07-23.
  21. ^ "We are too much of a democracy… tough reforms hard: Niti Aayog chief Amitabh Kant's wisdom". Indian Express. 2020-12-09. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  22. ^ "'Too much of democracy' in India makes it hard to carry out reforms, says NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant - India News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 2020-12-08. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  23. ^ "Tough reforms difficult in India, says Niti Aayog CEO". Hindustan Times. 2020-12-09. Archived from the original on 9 December 2020. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  24. ^ "'Too much democracy' makes tough reforms difficult in India, says Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant". India Today. December 8, 2020. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  25. ^ "Swarajya - YouTube". Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  26. ^ "'Too Much of Democracy' Making it Difficult to Carry Out Tough Reforms, Says Niti Aayog's Amitabh Kant". News18. 2020-12-08. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  27. ^ "Niti Aayog's Kant denies saying India is 'too much of a democracy', Twitter users share event clip". Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  28. ^ "Hindustan Times withdraws report on Niti Aayog CEO's 'too much democracy' comment". Newslaundry. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  29. ^ "This story, sourced from news agency Press Trust of India, has been withdrawn". Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  30. ^ Jawed, Sam (2020-12-09). ""Too much democracy": NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant denies what he stated twice". Alt News.
  31. ^ "Democracy is the lifeblood of India: A rebuttal by Amitabh Kant". The Indian Express. 11 December 2020. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  32. ^ "The most powerful people of India 2019 - Full list". India Today. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  33. ^ "All set for Sansad TV launch; Karan Singh, Tharoor, Kant, Sanyal to host special shows". The Tribune. 15 September 2021.
  34. ^ "PM Narendra Modi to launch Sansad TV on September 15: Report". Business Standard India. Press Trust of India. 10 September 2021.

External links[edit]