After spending four years in India as chief economic advisor, Arvind Subramanian left the job to return to America for personal reasons. Mr Subramanian had joined Chief Economic Advisor on October 16, 2014 for a period of three years. On the expiry of the three year he was requested by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley to continue for some more time. In a blog post announcing his exit, Mr Jaitley said that Arvind Subramanian used to think ahead and, therefore, came out with futuristic ideas on rationalisation of removal of "subsidies for the rich", universal basic income, climate change, from "socialism without entry and capitalism without exit".
Before Mr Subramanian, former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan and Niti Aayog's vice chairman Arvind Panagariya have also left their high-profile jobs as top economists in central bank and India's policy think tank respectively.
Arvind Subramanian's five achievements for which Arun Jaitley credited him:
1. JAM Trinity: Arvind Subramanian conceptualised JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhar, Mobile) as a data base for availing public benefits. He came out with newer ideas, policy reforms in the sectors of clothing, fertilizers, kerosene, power and pulses.
2. Online Education Platform: Arvind Subramanian launched the government's online education platform "Swayam", which, As Mr Jaitley said, became one of the most followed courses in India.
3. Detecting Twin balance sheet problem: Mr Subramanian's early diagnosis of the twin balance-sheet prompted the government to adopt the macro-economic strategy of higher public investment in the Budget of 2015-16.
4. Raising the bar of Economic Surveys: Mr Subramaninan elevated the quality of the analysis and the presentation of ideas for public deliberation in his four Economic Surveys. His documents for four years was treated by several independent critics as one of the best ever produced. The latest survey had about 15 million visitors from 117 countries. The Economic Survey today is a basic teaching material all over India.
5. Report on revenue neutral rate: Mr Subramanian's report on the Revenue Neutral Rate was of great use in forging a consensus which led to the constitution amendment enabling the GST. He participated in every meeting of GST, gave his independent views and was heard in rapt attention by almost every Finance Minister.