Who is Amitabh Kant? - Indian Bureaucrat and Policy Maker

Current PositionG20 Sherpa, Government of India
Previous PositionCEO, NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India)
Service CadreIndian Administrative Service, Kerala Cadre (1980 Batch)
Notable CampaignsMake in India, Startup India, Incredible India, God's Own Country
EducationEconomics (Hons) from St. Stephen's College, Delhi; M.A. from Jawaharlal Nehru University
Publications"Branding India – An Incredible Story", "Incredible India 2.0"
AwardsBloomberg TV Personality of the Year, Distinguished Fellowship of the Institute of Directors
LanguagesEnglish, Hindi, Malayalam

Amitabh Kant's educational journey began at Modern School in Delhi, followed by an undergraduate degree in Economics (Hons) from St. Stephen's College, a prestigious institution affiliated with the University of Delhi, known for its academic excellence and notable alumni. He furthered his education with a Master's degree in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University, another renowned university in India, which has produced many distinguished scholars and public figures.

Indian Administrative Service and Early Assignments

Kant joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1980, opting for the Kerala cadre. The IAS is India's premier civil service, known for its rigorous selection process and the significant role its officers play in the administration and implementation of policies throughout the country. As an IAS officer, Kant held various key positions, including District Collector of Kozhikode, where he was involved in infrastructural development and urban revival projects.

Leadership in Tourism and Industrial Policy

Amitabh Kant's work as Secretary of Tourism in Kerala led to the state becoming a leading tourist destination, known for its "God's Own Country" campaign. He also served as Joint Secretary of Tourism at the Government of India, where he contributed to the "Incredible India" campaign, which significantly boosted India's image as a tourist destination globally.

As Secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Kant played a pivotal role in formulating and implementing industrial policy, promoting foreign direct investment, and enhancing the ease of doing business in India. His tenure at DIPP was marked by the launch of the "Make in India" initiative, which aimed to transform India into a global manufacturing hub.

Tenure as CEO of NITI Aayog

In January 2016, Amitabh Kant was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog, the Government of India's premier policy think tank, replacing the Planning Commission. Under his leadership, NITI Aayog focused on catalyzing economic development, fostering cooperative federalism, and serving as a knowledge and innovation hub. Kant's tenure saw the launch of several transformative initiatives, including the Aspirational Districts Program, which aimed to rapidly transform districts lagging in key socio-economic parameters.

Role as India's G20 Sherpa

Since July 2022, Amitabh Kant has been serving as India's G20 Sherpa, representing the country in international forums and playing a crucial role in shaping global economic policies. The position of G20 Sherpa is a testament to his expertise in governance reform and public policy.

Publications and Thought Leadership

Amitabh Kant is the author of "Branding India – An Incredible Story" and "Incredible India 2.0," which detail the successful branding and marketing strategies that positioned India as a leading destination for tourism and business. He has also edited "The Path Ahead: Transformative Ideas for India," contributing to the discourse on India's future policy direction.

Recognition and Awards

Throughout his career, Kant has been recognized for his contributions to public service and policy reform. He has received several awards, including the Bloomberg TV Personality of the Year Award and the Distinguished Fellowship of the Institute of Directors. These accolades underscore his impact on India's economic transformation and policy landscape.

Language Proficiency and Personal Interests

Amitabh Kant is proficient in English, Hindi, and Malayalam, reflecting his diverse cultural background and ability to engage with a wide range of stakeholders. His personal interests and commitment to public service have played a significant role in his professional journey, influencing his approach to policy-making and governance.