There were important transfers of power in state capitals on Friday, so the news that the second most senior official in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will step down in August may seem a minor affair. But it is something the Manmohan Singh government should take note of.
IMF first deputy managing director John Lipsky said that he would not seek reappointment. His boss, managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is expected to leave his post later this year to contest the French presidential elections.
So the top two positions in IMF will be up for grabs soon. Traditionally, a European has run the multilateral lender, with an American second in command. But with the rebalancing of global economic power and the financial crisis, there has been sanctimonious talk about giving emerging markets a greater voice in global institutions. With the two top IMF jobs open, this is the time for India to pitch for one of them.