NITI Aayog UPSC: Full Form, Functions, Objectives, NITI Aayog Notes PDF

By K Balaji|Updated : September 19th, 2022

NITI Aayog stands for "National Institution for Transforming India," which was formed on 01 January 2015, by the Prime Minister of India as a replacement for the Planning Commission, which had a legacy of 65 years. The significance and work of the Planning Commission had been questioned for a long time. Therefore, the NITI Aayog was formed to maximize governance, promoting national economic interests and cooperative federalism.

NITI Aayog can be fairly compared to being the think tank of the government of India that provides directions for work style. NITI Aayog UPSC is an important part of the Civil Services examination. Questions can be asked on this topic in both Prelims and Mains exams. Know more about NITI Aayog full form, objectives, structure, functions, achievements, etc. below in detail.

Table of Content

What is NITI Aayog?

Niti is a Sanskrit word that means moral guidance and making policies. Keeping this essence in mind, on January 1st, 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the NITI Aayog, which stands for National Institution for Transforming India. NITI Aayog is considered a booster for the economic growth of the country, which will further help India evolve as a strong economy on a global platform.

  • Chairman of NITI Aayog – Narendra Modi
  • Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog – Dr. Rajiv Kumar (September 2017 – present) is the current Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog.


NITI Aayog is an essential organization in the Indian administration, as it plays a vital role in developing the country and maintaining its progress. To prepare NITI Aayog UPSC notes, applicants can download the PDF given below and go through the current affairs and Polity Books for UPSC.

NITI Aayog Notes for UPSC

You can also download UPSC previous year question papers to prepare for polity and NITI Aayog UPSC questions. Candidates appearing for the upcoming IAS exam must download the latest UPSC Syllabus to ensure all the important topics are covered.

Functions of NITI Aayog

The concept of NITI Aayog was introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1st January, 2015. The major functions of NITI Aayog are as follows:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi abolished the 65-year-old Planning Commission on August 13th, 2014, and replaced it with the NITI Aayog.
  • The important point to be noted here is that it was established in the same manner as the Planning Commission was created, i.e., by executive resolution. Therefore, it is neither a statutory nor a constitutional body but an executive body.
  • It is a policy think tank of the Indian government and provides policy-related and directional input to the government of India. Another important point is that, apart from assisting the government of India, it also helps the states and centers with technical advice.
  • Compared to the previous planning commission approaches, NITI Aayog provides diversified points of view collaboratively rather than being confrontationist.

Documents Published by NITI Aayog

The NITI Aayog also planned to release three documents —

  • 3-year action agenda
  • 7-year medium-term strategy paper
  • 15-year vision document.

NITI Aayog Members

There are many people involved in the functioning of this Commission. The list of NITI Aayog members is as follows:

  • The Chairperson of NITI Aayog, who is also the Prime Minister of India.
  • Chief Ministers of all states and union territories, as well as Lieutenant Governors of union territories.
  • Regional Councils: These are constituted to address the contingencies which impact more than one state. The members of regional councils have a fixed tenure and these are convened by the PM. The Regional Council is composed of chief ministers of states and lieutenant governors of union territories.
  • Special Invitees: special invitees are nominated by the Prime Minister and are expert practitioners and specialists in a particular domain.
  • Full-term organizational framework: It consists of the vice-chairpersons, the members, part-time members, ex-officio members, the chief executive officer, and the secretariat.

7 Pillars of NITI Aayog

The 7 pillars of NITI Aayog are based on good governance and they form the theme of the think tank.

  1. Pro-people
  2. Pro-activity
  3. Participation
  4. Empowering
  5. Inclusion of all
  6. Equality
  7. Transparency

Objectives of NITI Aayog

It is important for UPSC aspirants to know the objectives of NITI Aayog, as direct questions often come from this section in the exam.

  • The first objective of NITI Aayog is to involve and enhance a shared vision to keep national development as a priority, along with the active participation of all states.
  • To prepare and formulate the plans at the grassroots level in the villages and work on them seriously and progressively at the higher levels of government.
  • It also aims to keep a check on the sections of society that are falling behind or are not benefitting adequately financially.
  • It prepares the plans, policies, and frameworks for long-term progress and monitors the efficiency of programs.
  • It is an overall watchdog that also focuses on upgrading technology and implementing it in the programs and initiatives of the government of India.
  • It works on program implementation for the government of India, as well as identifying basic needs and resources to improve people's livelihoods.

Indexes released by NITI Aayog

Apart from the reports published, there are several indices and index released by NITI Aayog, such as Health Index, Global Innovation Index, etc. Look at the list of the indexes released by the NITI Aayog as follows:

  • Composite Water Management Index
  • District Hospital Index
  • Export Preparedness Index
  • Global Innovation Index
  • India Innovation Index
  • Multidimensional Poverty Index
  • School Education Quality Index
  • SDG India Index
  • State Energy Index
  • State Health Index

NITI Aayog Three year Action Plan

One of the documents published by NITI Aayog is the three-year action agenda, the details of which are given below:

  • This 3-year Action Plan agenda is an integral part of the Aayog that leads to the visual and strategic document.
  • The NITI Aayog three-year action plan is a document from 2017 to 2020.
  • This document explains the changes in the policies and programs for the actions between 2017 and 2020.
  • This 3-year Action Plan offers proposals that suggest policy changes in a short period of time.

Achievements of NITI Aayog

The Government of India’s premier policy think tank, NITI Aayog, provides directional, policy, and relevant technical advice to the Centre, States, and Union Territories. The achievements of the NITI Aayog are:

  • It has played a significant role in strengthening the Ayushman Bharat Scheme. It held extensive peer reviews of health benefits packages for PMJAY.
  • In collaboration with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and with the technical assistance of the World Bank, it has been spearheading the World Health Outcome Index.
  • The Aspirational District Program is fostering the transformation in the health and nutrition sectors with the involvement of district officers under the leadership of District Collectors.
  • It examined and made recommendations to the draft National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH) Bill, 2018, National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2018, and National Commission for Yoga & Naturopathy Bill, 2018.
  • Monitoring and Analysing Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP) programme in India.
  • Village Storage Scheme and Dhaanya Lakshmi Village Storage Scheme are the brainchildren of NITI Aayog.
  • Natural farming is being promoted as the ‘Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati’ programme under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY).
  • It is following an extremely participative approach in preparing the Strategy for New India by 2022.

Difference Between NITI Aayog & Planning Commission

As the planning commission is now replaced by NITI Aayog, here are a few highlighted differences between the two:

NITI Aayog

Planning Commission

It is a think tank and is advisory in nature.

It was an extra-constitutional body.

Bottom-up approach to governance

Top-Down approach of governance

NITI Aayog members are experts and have varied expertise

Members had limiter experience

Cooperative Federalism where states are included

Limiter involvement of states

No powers to allocate funds.

It had the power to allocate funds

NITI Aayog UPSC Questions

Prelims Question-2013. Consider the following statements

  1. The National Development Council is the organ of the planning commission.
  2. Economic and social planning is kept in the concurrent list in the constitution of India.
  3. The constitution of India prescribes that Panchayat should be assigned the task of preparation of plans for economic development and Social Justice.

Which of the statements given above is correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Answer. Option 2

Prelims Question-2014 Which of the following are associated with 'Planning in India'?

  1. The finance commission
  2. The National Development Council
  3. The Union Ministry of Rural Development
  4. The Union Ministry of Urban Development
  5. The parliament

Select the correct answer using the code given below-

  1. 1 2 and 5 only
  2. 1, 3, and 4 only
  3. 2 and 5 only
  4. 1,2,3,4, and 5

Answer. Option 3

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  • NITI Aayog is an executive body, a department formed by the Central Government as a replacement for the Planning Commission, which was constituted in 1950 to assist the Government in planning policies and programs for the benefit of India’s economy.

  • The full form of NITI Aayog is National Institution for Transforming India. It is headed by the Prime Minister of India and was formed on 01 January 2015. The headquarters of NITI Aayog is situated in New Delhi.

  • Yes, NITI Aayog is a replacement for the Planning Commission in India, which was formed on 01 January 2015. However, there are some differences between the two which include the top-down approach of Governance followed by the Planning Commission and the bottom-up approach followed by the NITI Aayog, etc.

  • Shri Suman Bery is the Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, who took over the office from 01 May 2022 till the present. He is an experienced policy economist and research administrator. Before assuming this role, he was a Global Fellow in the Asia Programme of the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington D.C., a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, and also a member of the Board of the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, New Delhi.

  • Some major functions of NITI Aayog are as follows:

    • It acts as a policy think tank of the Indian Government that provides inputs and required assistance in policy formation.
    • Generate knowledge, research, innovation, and entrepreneurial support system with the help of national and international experts.
    • Focus on technology improvement and capacity building programs.
  • The Prime Minister of India is the chairman of NITI Aayog. Currently, the head of the National Institution for Transforming India is Shri Narendra Modi, under whose command it was constituted on 01 January 2015.

  • The main objectives of the NITI Aayog are listed below:

    • To promote cooperative federalism through the continuous support mechanisms with the States.
    • To ensure that the interests of national security are included in economic policies.
    • To provide a platform for resolving inter­ departmental and inter-sectoral issues to boost the implementation of the development agenda.
  • NITI Aayog is neither a constitutional nor a statutory body because it is not created by the Constitution of India or an Act of Parliament. Instead, it is an executive body formed by the Prime Minister in 2015 after the abolition of the Planning Commission.

  • The NITI Aayog was established on 01 January 2015 by the Prime Minister of India. It serves as the top-most policy think tank of the Indian Government with the objective of economic development and promoting cooperative federalism by implementing the bottom-up approach with the involvement of State Governments of India in the policy-making process.

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