On the first day of New Year 2015, government has replaced Planning Commission with a new institution named NITI Aayog. NITI is an acronym for National Institution for Transforming India.
The proposed institution has to provide governments at the central and state levels with relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy. This includes matters of national and international import on the economic front, dissemination of best practices from within the country as well as from other nations, the infusion of new policy ideas and specific issue-based support. The institution has to be able to respond to the changing and more integrated world that India is part of.
An important evolutionary change from the past will be replacing a centre-to-state one-way flow of policy by a genuine and continuing partnership with the states.
The institution to give life to these aspirations is the NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India). This is being proposed after extensive consultation across the spectrum of stakeholders including inter alia state governments, domain experts and relevant institutions.
The NITI Aayog will work towards the following objectives:
- To evolve a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active involvement of States in the light of national objectives. The vision of the NITI Aayog will then provide a framework ‘national agenda’ for the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers to provide impetus to.
- To develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of government.
- To pay special attention to the sections of our society that may be at risk of not benefitting adequately from economic progress.
- To provide advice and encourage partnerships between key stakeholders and national and international like-minded Think Tanks, as well as educational and policy research institutions.
- To maintain a state-of-the-art Resource Centre, be a repository of research on good governance and best practices in sustainable and equitable development as well as help their dissemination to stake-holders.
- To focus on technology upgradation and capacity building for implementation of programmes and initiatives.
- Prime Minister of India as the Chairperson
- Regional Councils will be formed to address specific issues and contingencies impacting more than one state or a region. These will be formed for a specified tenure. The Regional Councils will be convened by the Prime Minister and will comprise of the Chief Ministers of States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories in the region. These will be chaired by the Chairperson of the NITI Aayog or his nominee.
The full-time organizational framework will comprise of, in addition to the Prime Minister as the Chairperson:
- Vice-Chairperson: To be appointed by the Prime Minister
- Members: Full-time
- Part-time members: Maximum of 2 from leading universities research organizations and other relevant institutions in an ex-officio capacity. Part time members will be on a rotational basis.
- Ex Officio members: Maximum of 4 members of the Union Council of Ministers to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
- Chief Executive Officer : To be appointed by the Prime Minister for a fixed tenure, in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.
- Secretariat as deemed necessary.
Government plans to adopt ‘Bharatiya approach to development’.
Here is what PM Modi has to say on NITI Ayog;
Update – Sri Arvind Panagariya appointed as Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has appointed Shri Arvind Panagariya as Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog.Shri Arvind Panagariya is a free market analyst who teaches at Columbia University in the USA. Panagariya holds Ph.D degree in Economics from Princeton university.
Along with Arvind Panagariya, prime minister has also appointed economist Shri Bibek Debroy and Former Secretary Defence R&D Dr. V.K. Saraswattwo as full time members.
Shri Rajnath Singh, Shri Arun Jaitley, Shri Suresh Prabhu, Shri Radha Mohan Singh are appointed as Ex-officio member. Shri Nitin Gadkari, Shri Thawar Chand Gehlot and Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani will be special invitees.