New Delhi: The government has appointed a panel under former Reserve Bank of India governor Bimal Jalan to select the next chief economic adviser in the finance ministry, two months after it sought applications for the post after Arvind Subramanian resigned from office.

Jalan confirmed to Mint that he will be heading such a panel.

Apart from Jalan, secretary of the department of personnel and training C Chandramouli and economic affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg will be members of the panel which will vet the applications received and conduct the interviews.

However, the Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will need to give the final stamp of approval for the appointment of the next CEA.

Subramanian resigned from his post before his tenure ends in May 2019 citing personal reasons. He has since joined as a visiting professor at Harvard University.

The government in its notification seeking applications for the post had encouraged government officers, including those from public sector enterprises or the Reserve Bank of India to apply for the post. Candidates from recognised universities and research institutions are also eligible to apply for the post.

The maximum age limit for the position has been fixed at 56 years and the last date for applying is 20 July 2018.

While the minimum educational qualification is a master’s degree in economics, a doctoral degree in finance or economics has been made preferable. For government employees seeking to apply, six years’ experience in economic research or providing economic advice has been made mandatory.

“The selection committee reserves the right to invite and short-list suitable individuals from outside the list of applicants for the posts," the notification said.

The government’s move to appoint a CEA when it has less than a year in office with general elections due next summer took many analysts by surprise.

After Raghuram Rajan demitted the office of CEA in September 2013 to become the governor of the Reserve Bank of India, the UPA government did not appoint a CEA for the rest of its term. The post remained vacant for more than a year, until Subramanian took charge on 16 October 2014 after the National Democratic Alliance came to power.

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