Amitabh Kant

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Amitabh kant

Kant in April 2017
2nd CEO of NITI Aayog
Assumed office
17 February 2016
Preceded bySindhushree Khullar
Personal details
Born (1956-03-01) 1 March 1956 (age 65)
Spouse(s)Ranjeeta Kant
Alma materUniversity of Delhi
Jawaharlal Nehru University
OccupationCivil Servant

Amitabh Kant is an IAS officer of the 1980 batch. As of June 2019, he is the chief executive officer of NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India).[1] NITI is a government institution for catalysing economic development.

Early life[edit]

Amitabh Kant was born on 1 March 1956. He first studied at Modern School, Delhi. He graduated with a degree in Economics (Hons.) from St. Stephen's College, Delhi[2] and earned an M.A from Jawaharlal Nehru University.[3]

He attended Manchester Business School on a Chevening Scholarship.

Later, he attended the Mid-career Program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.[citation needed]

Amitabh Kant is married to Ranjeeta Kant; they have two daughters Vedica and Vanshica.[4]


Amitabh Kant is the CEO of NITI Aayog.[5] 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,[6] and Incredible India 2.0- Synergies for Growth and Governance.[7]

India Today, in its 45th Anniversary special issue, featured Kant as one of the 45 celebrated Indians. In his interview, Kant said that "the Kerala tourism secretary job was seen as a lousy posting, but I took it as an opportunity to showcase God's own country".[8]

Kant was listed as one of the world's 50 most influential people revolutionizing governance by Apolitical, a global government learning platform.[9]

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. [10] 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. He is also the creator of Kerala's highly successful tourism tagline "Kerala - God's Own Country"[11][12][13] He began his IAS career working as sub collector of Thalassery.[14]

During his role as Joint Secretary Tourism, Government of India and Secretary, Tourism, Government of Kerala, Kant was the key driver of the “Make in India,” Startup India, “Incredible India,” and “God’s Own Country” initiatives that positioned India and Kerala State as leading manufacturing and tourism destinations.[citation needed] These campaigns won several international awards. They employed many activities, including infrastructure development, product enhancement, private-public partnership and positioning and branding. Kerala thereafter became India’s leading tourism destination.[citation needed] Kant conceptualized and executed the “Atithi Devo Bhavah” – “God will visit in the form of a Guest" campaign to train taxi drivers, guides, immigration officials and make them stakeholders in the tourism development process.[citation needed]. He also served as the National Project Director of the Rural Tourism Project of UNDP which created a paradigm shift in spreading tourism to Indian villages that had skills in handicrafts, handlooms and culture.[citation needed]

As Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), he was responsible for formulation and implementation of industrial policy and strategies for industrial development, monitoring the industrial growth and performance of specific industrial sectors, formulation of foreign direct investment (FDI) policy and FDI promotion and facilitation. Related policies covered intellectual property rights relating to patents, trademarks, industrial design and geographical Indications. He was also responsible for promotion of productivity, quality and technical cooperation.[citation needed]. During his tenure, he vigorously drove the Ease of Doing Business initiative and ranking of States on outcome parameters. These initiatives have led to India making a quantum jump in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Index and enabled Indian States to compete in the spirit of competitive federalism.

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 2017-20.

For his transformational work in the field of governance, Kant has received a number of recognitions. 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 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.[18][19][20][21][22][23] Kant later denied making the remarks, and Hindustan Times withdrew their report on the comments.[24][25][26] 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.[27]

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."[28]

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.[29]


He received the Economic Times Policy Change Agent of the Year Award, the Bloomberg TV Personality of the year Award, 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 a Member of the Steering Board of “Shaping the Future of Production Systems” of the World Economic Forum{WEF}.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "India's startup movement is fast gaining momentum: Amitabh Kant". Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  2. ^ "Did you know these 6 top office holders in India went to the same college?". India Today. 17 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Chief Executive Officer".
  4. ^ "Sunny side up". Pune Mirror. 10 December 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Hand over schools, colleges, jails to private sector: Amitabh Kant". The Times of India. July 27, 2017. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  6. ^ "The Path Ahead: Transformative Ideas for India". Rupa Publications. July 27, 2017. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Punj, Shwweta (January 4, 2021). "The Kerala tourism secretary job was seen as a lousy posting: Amitabh Kant". India Today. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  9. ^ "Agile 50: the World's 50 Most Influential People Revolutionising Governance". Apolitical. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  10. ^ "TFrom selling India to building a corridor, Amitabh Kant faces his biggest challenge yet". Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  11. ^ "Kozhikode collector goes all social, gets more than a few likes for his work". The Indian Express. 2015-09-20. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  12. ^ Choudhury, Sonya Dutta (2016-01-17). "Civil Services: making a difference". Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  13. ^ "Amitabh Kant". Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  14. ^ Team, BoI. "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. ^ "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.
  19. ^ "'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.
  20. ^ "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.
  21. ^ "'Too much democracy' makes tough reforms difficult in India, says Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant". India Today. December 8, 2020. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  22. ^ "Swarajya - YouTube". Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  23. ^ "'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.
  24. ^ Scroll Staff. "Niti Aayog's Kant denies saying India is 'too much of a democracy', Twitter users share event clip". Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  25. ^ "Hindustan Times withdraws report on Niti Aayog CEO's 'too much democracy' comment". Newslaundry. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  26. ^ "This story, sourced from news agency Press Trust of India, has been withdrawn". Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  27. ^ Jawed, Sam (2020-12-09). ""Too much democracy": NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant denies what he stated twice". Alt News.
  28. ^ "Democracy is the lifeblood of India: A rebuttal by Amitabh Kant". The Indian Express. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  29. ^ "The most powerful people of India 2019 - Full list". India Today. Retrieved January 15, 2021.