- Arun Jaitley said Arvind Subramanian going back due to family commitments
- The 59-year-old took up the top post in 2014, his term was later extended
- He is a St Stephen's College and IIM-Ahmedabad graduate
"He would like to go back to the United States on account of pressing family commitments... He left me with no option but to agree with him," Arun Jaitley wrote on the premature exit. Mr Subramanian's term ends in May 2019.
Mr Jaitley, who is recovering from surgery, said Mr Subramanian had met him over video-conference a few days ago. "His reasons were personal but extremely important for him," he said.
Mr Subramanian, 59, a senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, became Chief Economic Adviser on October 16, 2014 for a period of three years, which was extended. He took over the job when his predecessor Raghuram Rajan moved on to become RBI governor.
"On the expiry of the three year I had requested him to continue for some more time. Even at that stage he told me that he was torn between family commitment and his current job which he considered the best and most fulfilling he has ever done," Mr Jaitley said in his post, which was full of praise for Mr Subramanian.
Mr Subramanian built up a "strong team of both insiders and outsiders", said the minister.
Mr Subramanian's academic record features Delhi's St Stephen's College, the Indian Institute of Management (IIM)-Ahmedabad and the Oxford University.
His stint as the government's top economic strategist had its rough patches. Two years ago, he was targeted by BJP lawmaker Subramanian Swamy, who demanded his removal claiming that he had been critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and had worked against India's interests at the WTO. Mr Jaitley had come out in his support, emphasizing that the government had "full confidence" in Mr Subramanian.
This is the third instance in three years of a US-educated Indian economist to leave a top post. Raghuram Rajan was the first to go in 2016; he was not offered a second term as RBI chief. Last year, Arvind Panagariya quit as the head of the Niti Aayog.
Asked about his successor, he said the process would start soon. "The criteria should be competence, competence, competence," he told reporters.
Follow NDTV for latest election news and live coverage of assembly elections 2019 in Maharashtra and Haryana.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.