NITI Aayog and its Important Reports

By Brajendra|Updated : March 22nd, 2022

The way we plan for our monthly expenses and make a rough estimate of short- or medium-term financial planning, in the same manner, the country also needs to do a plan for short or medium-term for its income, expenses, investments and contingencies.

NITI Aayog and Important Reports

NITI Aayog is created for the financial planning at pan-India and the important reports it releases for the development assessing various parameters. Before knowing about it in detail, let us briefly explore the earlier version of the planning body in India. Planning Commission was established in March 1950 by a resolution of the Government of India. It was made responsible for assessing national resources and drafting five-year plans for the effective use of the resources. The objective was to the proper and effective utilization of resources. With changing times, and growing needs of the people and effectively address them, a new version of planning body i.e. NITI Aayog was established by a resolution of the Union Cabinet on January 1, 2015, replacing the Planning Commission.

NITI Aayog is regarded as the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India. It provides both directional and policy inputs. Besides designing the strategic and long-term policies and programmes for the Government of India, the Aayog also provides relevant technical advice to the Centre as well as the States.

Structural composition of NITI Aayog

The NITI Aayog consists of two hubs at its core: ‘Team India Hub’ and the ‘Knowledge and Innovation Hub’. These hubs reflect the two key tasks of the Aayog.

  • The Team India Hub leads the engagement of states with the Central government.
  • The Knowledge and Innovation Hub builds NITI’s think-tank capabilities.

With necessary resources, knowledge and skills, the NITI Aayog is also developing itself as a State-of-the-Art Resource Centre. It will enable the promotion of research and innovation, provide strategic policy and fast pace the vision for the government and deal with contingent issues.

Members of the NITI Aayog:

  1. Chairperson: Shri Narendra Modi
  2. Vice-Chairperson: Dr. Rajiv Kumar
  3. Full-time member: Prof. Ramesh Chand
  4. Full-time member: Profile -Shri V.K. Saraswat
  5. Full- time member: Profile- Dr. V.K. Paul
  6. Chief Executive Officer: Shri Amitabh Kant 

The objective of NITI Aayog

The NITI Aayog aims to foster involvement and participation in the economic policy-making process by the State Governments of India. It envisions to practice cooperative federalism.  NITI Aayog aspires to transform India across States, UTs, and districts. It envisions development across sectors such as health and nutrition, education, women empowerment, strengthening governance mechanism and applies them in aspirational districts and monitors the progress. In this regard, the NITI Aayog releases reports to assess the performance of the states on various parameters. Let us discuss some of the important reports released by the NITI Aayog.

  1. India Innovation Index (III)

To foster the culture of innovation across the Indian states, the NITI Aayog has come up with the ‘India Innovation Index’. It is a first-ever Index aims to facilitate the creation of a conducive ecosystem for innovation to flourish across the country.

Why innovation is essential?

Innovation has always been a driver of change and progress in any economy as it disrupts traditional practices and businesses. The Index will help States devise their own strategy for fostering an innovation climate, it will enable to benchmark their performance with other states. Therefore, The India Innovation Index is considered as the average of the scores of its two dimensions- Enablers and Performance.

The Index has been grouped under two main headings:

  • Enablers: factors that will drive innovation in the States and Union Territories
  • Performance: enable to measure the outcomes of States and Union Territories

Objectives: the twin-objectives include State’s Innovation Ranking and the Empowering States to improve. The Enablers are the factors that underpin innovative capacities, the five enablers pillars (enables the innovative capacities) are:

  1. Human Capital
  2. Investment
  3. Knowledge workers
  4. Business Environment
  5. Safety and Legal Environment

The performance dimension captures benefits that a nation derives from the inputs and the two Performance pillars are:

  1. Knowledge Output
  2. Knowledge Diffusion

Important Highlights of India Innovation Index 2021:

The India Innovation Index is released by NITI Aayog and the Institute for Competitiveness every year. The index attempts to create an extensive framework for the continuous evaluation of the innovation environment in all States and Union Territories; it ranks them on the basis of their scores. NITI Aayog released the second edition on 20 January 2021. NITI is also handholding States and Union Territories in improving their rankings in the index, which will subsequently result in the improvement of India’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index.

2. SDG India Index

The SDG India Index is the world’s first Government-led subnational measure of SDG progress. The first edition of the index was launched in December 2018; the second came out on 30 December 2019; and the third edition was launched in June 2021. A dashboard has been developed for the index, with interactive visualisation, which is in the public domain. The dashboard is currently being upgraded with multiple new features and interactive user elements to further increase its utility

3. School Education Quality Index (SEQI)

The School Education Quality Index (SEQI) was developed to evaluate the performance of States and Union Territories (UTs) in the school education sector. 


The SEQI aims to drive policy reforms that will improve the quality of school education. To facilitate a like-for-like comparison, States and UTs have been grouped as large States, Small States and UTs.

NITI Aayog had released the first SEQI in September 2019. Now, as per the inputs received from various State Governments, the SEQI indicators will be revisited/revised in consultation with all stakeholders, and some new indicators will be prepared. The next version of SEQI will be released after the availability of the National Achievement Survey 2021 data.

  • The index seeks to institutionalise a focus on enhancing education outcomes by driving improvements in learning levels, access, equity, infrastructure and governance processes.
  • Within each of these groups, the indicator values have been appropriately scaled, normalized and weighed to generate an overall performance score and ranking for each State and UT.

4. Composite Water Management Index

Work is underway on the third round of the index. Along with the third edition, NITI Aayog will also launch a new and comprehensive dashboard, with district-wise data in the water sector. A training session on the new dashboard was conducted on 17 November 2020 for all State nodal officers who will update the data on the portal. 

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