Dr. Vandana Aggarwal

Dr. Vandana Aggarwal, has been a career civil servant and economist for about 36 years. She joined the prestigious Indian Economic Service in 1986 after her studies at the University of London, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, and the Delhi School of Economics. Her Ph.D. thesis was on Investment and Regulatory Aspects of Deep-Sea Mining.

She last served as Senior Economic Adviser (Additional Secretary) in the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India. She handled key reforms and policy formulation, implementation of schemes, and economic regulation, as well as security and crisis management (including the Covid-19 pandemic). She has also served on the Boards of Directors of central public corporates and councils such as AAI Cargo Logistics & Allied Services Ltd. (AAICLAS) and Aerospace and Aviation Sector Skill Council (AASSC).

She is currently serving on high-level governmental bodies as Member, Research Council for Development of Aviation and Aerospace Sciences and Technologies, Infrastructure, Facilities and Expertise, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-National Aerospace Laboratories, as Lead Expert for Course Consolidation at the Indian Maritime University, and as Chairperson of various Committees of the International Financial Services Centre Authority (IFSCA) for seeding greenfield businesses in India’s GIFT-City, such as Aircraft and Ship Acquisitions, Leasing and Financing under Project Rupee Raftaar and SAFAL.

In a large and diverse developing country like India, she has worked in various Central Government Ministries (Finance, Commerce, Industry, Cabinet Secretariat, Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Planning Commission, and Permanent Mission of India to the World Trade Organisation) handling core reforms, implementation of schemes, economic and climate change regulation, as well as national security and crisis management. Her dossiers have included the 1991 New Industrial Policy, agriculture sector reforms, PPPs in Power Transmission, National Air Cargo Policy, Krishi Udaan Scheme, development of a fixed-wing Regional Transport Aircraft and the Light Utility Helicopter, and an ecosystem for Manufacturing Aircraft in India, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) including convergence between defence aerospace and civil aviation, National Logistics Policy, Indirect and Direct Taxes (incl. Goods and Services Tax), Competition Issues, environment and forest (ENVIS) Centres, and investment, capital markets and external debt matters. She has been India’s trade negotiator on the Doha Development Agenda, has handled settlement of inter-Governmental disputes under international laws, and been a standing panellist for adjudications in the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body. She has also dealt with corporate arbitrations as a Member of the Governing Body of the Indian Council of Arbitration. She has also represented India at the UNFCCC on climate change matters.