Shaktikanta Das former secretary of Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), has been appointed as India’s G20 Sherpa for the Development Track of the G20.

Former vice-chairman of NITI Aayog Arvind Panagariya had earlier suggested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to appoint a full-time Sherpa for G20 talks as India’s role is expanding in the global arena.

Panagariya left the government think tank on August 31 and returned to Columbia University. He was appointed India’s Sherpa for G20 talks in September 2015, replacing Suresh Prabhu. Sherpas, who are representatives of leaders of G20 member countries, coordinate on the agenda of the summit. The G20, a central forum for international cooperation on financial and economic issues, accounts for more than four-fifths of gross world product and is home to almost two-thirds of the world’s population. As per practice, the deputy chairman of the erstwhile Planning Commission used to be the Sherpa for G20 talks. During the UPA regime, former deputy chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia was Sherpa for G20 talks.