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Laxmikanth: Summary of Niti Aayog Notes | Study Indian Polity for UPSC CSE - UPSC

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Background
On the 13th of August, 2014, the Modi Government scrapped the 65-year-old Planning Commission and announced that it would be replaced by a new body. Accordingly, on January 1, 2015, the NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) was established as the successor to the planning commission.

Administrative Skeltal

  • Chairperson: Prime Minister
  • Vice-Chairperson: To be appointed by Prime-Minister
  • Governing Council: Chief Ministers of all states and Lt. Governors of Union Territories.
  • Regional Council: To address specific regional issues, Comprising Chief Ministers and Lt. Governors Chaired by Prime Minister or his nominee.
  • Adhoc Membership: 2 member in ex-officio capacity from leading Research institutions on rotational basis.
  • Ex-Officio membership: Maximum four from Union council of ministers to be nominated by Prime minister.
  • Chief Executive Officer: Appointed by Prime-minister for a fixed tenure, in rank of Secretary to Government of India.
  • Special Invitees: Experts, Specialists with domain knowledge nominated by Prime-minister.

    NITI Aayog Hubs
    1. Team India Hub acts as interface between States and Centre.
    2. Knowledge and Innovation Hub builds the think-tank acumen of NITI Aayog.The Aayog planned to come out with three documents — 3-year action agenda, 7-year medium-term strategy paper and 15- year vision document.

    Importance
  • India is a diversified country and its states are in various phases of economic development along with their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • In this context, a 'one size fits all' approach to economic planning is obsolete. It cannot make India competitive in today’s global economy.

Objectives

  • To foster cooperative federalism through structured support initiatives and mechanisms with the States on a continuous basis, recognizing that strong States make a strong nation.
  • To develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of government.
  • To ensure, on areas that are specifically referred to it, that the interests of national security are incorporated in economic strategy and policy.
  • 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 create a knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurial support system through a collaborative community of national and international experts, practitioners and other partners.
  • To offer a platform for resolution of inter-sectoral and inter-departmental issues in order to accelerate the implementation of the development agenda.
  • 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.

Challenges

  • To prove its mettle in policy formulation, the NITI Aayog needs to prioritize from the long list of 13 objectives with clear understanding of the difference in policy, planning and strategy.
  • To build the trust, faith and confidence more than the planning commission, NITI Aayog needs freedom of various kinds with budgetary provisions not in terms of plan and non-plan expenditures but revenue and capital expenditure as the higher rate of increase in capital expenditure can remove infrastructural deficits at all levels of operation in the economy.

Way Forward

  • Decentralization of planning but within a five-year plan framework.
  • Bureaucratic inertia need to be shaken, specializing it and fixing the accountability on basis of performance.
  • NITI Aayog could emerge as an agent of change over time and contribute to the government’s agenda of improving governance and implementing innovative measures for better delivery of public services.
  • NITI Aayog continues to be representative of efficient, transparent, innovative and accountable governance system in country with distinguished work ethics.
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