Following up on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day announcement, the government, Thursday, replaced, the Planning Commission with a new institution named NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India).
As per press note released by the government, the institution will serve as ‘think tank’ of the Government and provide governments, both at the central and state levels, with relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy.
“Perhaps most importantly, the institution must adhere to the tenet that while incorporating positive influences from the world, no single model can be transplanted from outside into the Indian scenario. We need to find our own strategy for growth. The new institution has to zero in on what will work in and for India. It will be a Bharatiya approach to development.”
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, are other areas of focus for the new institutions.
The decision to replace the planning comission was taken by the union cabinet. The cabinet resolution said, “From being preoccupied with survival, our aspirations have soared and today we seek elimination, rather than alleviation, of poverty. The people of India have great expectations for progress and improvement in governance, through their participation.”
“They require institutional reforms in governance and dynamic policy shifts that can seed and nurture large-scale change. Indeed, the ‘destiny’ of our country, from the time we achieved Independence, is now on a higher trajectory.”
“The past few decades have also witnessed a strengthening of Indian nationhood. India is a diverse country with distinct languages, faiths and cultural ecosystems. This diversity has enriched the totality of the Indian experience.”
“Politically too, India has embraced a greater measure of pluralism which has reshaped the federal consensus. The States of the Union do not want to be mere appendages of the Centre. They seek a decisive say in determining the architecture of economic growth and development. The one-size-fits-all approach, often inherent in central planning, has the potential of creating needless tensions and undermining the harmony needed for national effort.”
“Dr. Ambedkar had said with foresight that it is “unreasonable to centralise powers where central control and uniformity is not clearly essential or is impracticable.”
The government said – in context of the changed requirements of our country – there was a need for setting up an institution that will play the role of a directional and policy dynamo.
“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 must have the necessary resources, knowledge, skills and, ability to act with speed to provide the strategic policy vision for the government as well as deal with contingent issues.”
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.
The Aayog’s chairperson will be the Prime Minister and the Governing Council will comprise of the Chief Ministers of all the States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories.
Beside the PM, the organizational framework will include a Vice-Chairperson, full time members, maximum of two part-time members from leading universities research organizations and other relevant institutions in an ex-officio capacity, 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 and Secretariat as deemed necessary.