The Government claims that the NITI Aayog will bid farewell to the practice of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to development
On 1 January, the Narendra Modi Government replaced the erstwhile Planning Commission with the NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India). Set up as a thinktank for the Government and chaired by India’s Prime Minister, the institution will recommend strategic and technical advice on issues of national and international importance to both the Centre and states.
While the old Planning Commission was chiefly responsible for deciding on planned spending of the Centre and allocation of funds to state governments, the new body will now offer a ‘national agenda framework for the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers’ after evolving ‘a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active involvement of states.’ Unlike its predecessor, this new Central entity will have all Chief Ministers and Lieutenant Governors on its Governing Council. It will also have Regional Councils to address specific issues.
The Government claims that through the NITI Aayog, it will bid farewell to a ‘one-size-fits- all’ approach towards development. According to a statement put out by the Prime Minister’s Office, NITI Aayog will also end the ‘slow and tardy implementation’ and ‘Centre- to-state one-way flow’ of policies.
Indian-American economist Arvind Panagariya has been appointed as the body’s first Vice-Chairman. The economist Bibek Debroy and former Defence Research and Development Organisation chief Vijay Kumar Saraswat have been appointed full-time members. Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Suresh Prabhu and Radha Mohan Singh have been appointed as ex-officio members, while Nitin Gadkari, Thawar Chand Gehlot and Smriti Irani are to be roped in as Special Invitees.