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Ajay Banga: From an Indian armyman’s son to heading corporates to being nominated to head the World Bank

Ajay Banga for World Bank: As US President, Joe Biden, on Thursday, nominated 63-year-old Ajay Banga as president of the World Bank Group, the world is set to witness a historical development in the history of the global financial institute. Biden said the Indian-American is uniquely equipped to head the global financial institution and that, “this is a critical moment in history.”

How is the World Bank president selected?

The USA is the largest shareholder in the World Bank, thus the president of the World Bank is traditionally nominated by the US President. In the past, all the World Bank presidents nominated by the US have been citizens of the United States. Once the nomination is sent, the bank’s Board of Executive Directors reviews and confirms the nomination. The term of the president of the World Bank is of five-years, however, it can be renewed if need be. The overall management of the affairs of the World Bank is looked after by its president.

Why is the selection needed now?

The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank Group met on February 22, Wednesday, to discuss the selection and the procedure for the next president. The meeting was chaired by Dean, Koen Davidse and the selection of the new president is needed after the sitting president David Malpass announced to step down from the position. Malpass will be officially stepping down from his position on June 30, 2023. During the meeting, the World Bank Group Board of Executive Directors reiterated the Group’s commitment to choosing the next president solely through a transparent and merit-based selection process.

The selection procedure of the president for the World Bank Group requires the fulfilment of the following criteria:

– Proven experience in managing large organizations that have a global outreach,
– International exposure and knowledge of the public sector,
– A proven track record of accomplishment and leadership, particularly in development,
– Be able to articulate the World Bank Group’s clear vision and mission of development,
– An undaunting spirit and commitment towards multilateral cooperation,
– Possession of diplomatic skills, effective communication, and impartiality

Who is Ajay Banga?

Banga was born in Khadki, Pune in Maharashtra to an army officer and the roots of his family are traced to Jalandhar in Punjab. He spent 13 years at Nestle India, and in 1996 he joined Citigroup, where he grew up to the level of heading the Asia-Pacific region as chief executive officer (CEO).

Elaborate profile

Born on November 10, 1959, Ajaypal Singh Banga, is an Indian-American, who is currently the vice chairman at General Atlantic. Previously, he was the executive chairman of Mastercard and before that, he had been the president and the CEO, from 2010 to 2020. He is also the chairman of Exor, which is a Netherlands-based investment holding company and chairman alongside U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, for the public-private Partnership for Central America.

Formerly, Banga was the chairman of the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), which represents some 300 of the largest global companies, that invest in India. He was also the chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce. Apart from that, he is a member of the board of directors at Dow Chemical Company, a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ajay Banga is the first Indian-born person to be nominated for presidency at the World Bank. While nominating his name, Joe Biden said Banga “has critical experience mobilising public-private resources to tackle the most urgent challenges of our time, including climate change.”

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