Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the seventh meeting of the Governing Council of Niti Aayog at Rashtrapati Bhawan Cultural Centre in the national capital on Sunday.
The meeting is the first in-person meeting of the Governing Council since July 2019.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao will boycott the meeting as he wrote a letter to Prime Minister Modi on Saturday saying that his decision is a mark of protest against what he termed as the Centre’s alleged blatant discrimination against states including Telangana.
“I do not find it useful to attend the 7th Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog scheduled to be held on August 7 and I am staying away from it as a mark of strong protest against the present trend of the Central Govt to discriminate against the states and not treating them as equal partners in our collective efforts to make India a strong and developed country,” the letter read.
The agenda of the Niti Aayog meeting includes crop diversification and achieving self-sufficiency in oilseeds and pulses and agri-communities; implementation of the National Education Policy-school education; implementation of the National Education Policy-higher education; and urban governance.
In the drive toward building a steady, sustainable and inclusive India, the seventh governing council meeting of the government think tank Niti Aayog is expected to pave the way for synergies towards a new era of collaboration and cooperation between Centre and states and union territories. As India commemorates 75 years of Independence, it is the need of the hour for the states to be agile, resilient and self-reliant and move towards ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ in a spirit of cooperative federalism, an official statement said.
As part of preparations for this meeting, the National Conference of Chief Secretaries was held in Dharamshala in June 2022 which was the culmination of the six-month-long rigorous exercise by the Centre and States.
The conference was chaired by the Prime Minister and attended by the Chief Secretaries of all States and UTs, along with senior officials of the Central and State Governments.
The governing council comprises the Prime Minister of India; Chief Ministers of all the states and union territories with the legislature; Lt Governors of other UTs; Ex-Officio Members; Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog; Full-Time Members, NITI Aayog; and Union Ministers as Special Invitees.
The statement said that the meeting is particularly important as the country enters Amrit Kaal against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and in light of India hosting the G20 Presidency and summit next year.
The meeting would also lay emphasis on the importance of the Presidency for India for the federal system and the role that states can play in highlighting their progress at the G-20 Platform.