In a big development amid coronavirus outbreak in the world, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund(IMF) Kristalina Georgieva on Friday named former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan to her external advisory group. 11 others were also named to provide perspectives from around the globe on key developments and policy issues, including responses to the exceptional challenges the world now faces due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Georgieva said that even before the spread of COVID-19, IMF members have faced complex economic and financial disruptions. She said that IMF needs top-notch input and expertise from the widest range of sources. She then announced people for her External Advisory Group. “Toward this end, I am proud that an exceptional and diverse group of eminent individuals with high-level policy, market and private sector experience has agreed to serve on my External Advisory Group. Today we had a dynamic discussion to gain their insights, and to receive informal reactions to our ideas and approaches,” the IMF Managing Director said.
Rajan, 57, was the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor for three years until September 2016, is currently working as a professor at the University of Chicago. Other members of the group are Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister of Singapore and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore; Kristin Forbes, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia; Lord Mark Malloch Brown, former UN deputy secretary-general among others.
Earlier on April 6, Rajan suggested the government to call people with proven expertise and capabilities, including from opposition parties, to deal with 'perhaps the greatest emergency being faced by the country since Independence'. In his blog titled 'India's Greatest Challenge in Recent Times,' he cautioned that driving everything from the Prime Minister's Office, with the same overworked people, may not be of much help.
"There is much to do. The government should call on people with proven expertise and capabilities, of whom there are so many in India, to help it manage its response. It may even want to reach across the political aisle to draw in members of the opposition who have had experience in previous times of great stress like the global financial crisis. If, however, the government insists on driving everything from the Prime Minister's Office, with the same overworked people, it will do too little, too late."
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Meanwhile, as per health ministry, India has conducted 1,44,910 tests on 130,792 suspected COVID-19 patients in 146 government and 67 private laboratories. The country reported 1035 new cases in the last 24 hours, the sharpest ever increase in cases and 40 deaths, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 7447. Over 642 patients have recovered and been discharged. Worlwide COVID-19 has claimed 102,734 lives and 1,699,632 cases have been reported, while 376,330 have been cured.