With the replacement of Planning Commission with NITI Aayog, Government is pushing hard for the cause of cooperative federalism with a bottom-up approach. Since this initiative was undertaken by the present government, it is commonly asked in various government exams like UPSC, State PCS, and other competitive exams. Here in the article, all aspects of NITI Aayog are thoroughly discussed.
National Institute for Transforming India (NITI Aayog)
- After independence, an institution was felt necessary for long term planning and development of the country. For this, an institution called ‘Planning Commission’ was established in 1950.
- Planning Commission performed well in formulating policies for long term planning for almost 65 years, but it did not fit well into the concept of co-operative federalism.
- For working together with the states and promoting the concept of co-operative federalism, a demand was arising for the transformation of the planning commission.
- Hence, a new institution was formed on 01 Jan 2015 called as National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog with a new vision and aspiration.
- It aims to formulate innovative policies so as to create a strong state which in turn will create a strong and dynamic nation.
- NITI Aayog plans to function on two strong pillars (Hubs) which are as follows:-
- Team India Hub – It motivates the Indian States to participate with the central government in the developmental process of the country.
- Knowledge and Innovation Hub – It plans to create a database which can provide the NITI Aayog necessary inputs for making it a think tank.
- The government wants to make NITI Aayog as a state of Art Resource Centre with the required knowledge and resources which can help the government in its crucial policy decisions.
Difference between Planning Commission and NITI Aayog
- In planning commission, there was a Deputy Chairman along with a member secretary and full-time members. Whereas NITI Aayog consists of a CEO of the rank of Secretary and Vice-Chairperson along with five full-time members and two part-time members. Four cabinet ministers are appointed as an ex-officio member of NITI Aayog.
- The planning commission was using a top-down approach to planning with public sector resources. However, NITI Aayog works on the principle of bottom-up approach with co-operative federalism.
- Planning commission had reduced the role of Finance Commission by taking the responsibility of allocation of funds. However, NITI Aayog has no role in the allocation of funds.
- The planning commission was interfering in the domain of many other institutions. However, NITI Aayog is a think tank and do not interfere in the domain of other institutions.
Composition of NITI Aayog
- Chairperson – The Prime Minister
- Governing Council – Chief Ministers of the States and Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories
- Regional Council – Formed on the basis of need as and when required and comprises of CMs of States and Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories
- Full-Pat time members – Four full-time members and two part-time members
- Ex-officio members – Four Cabinet Ministers appointed by the Prime Minister
- Special invitees – Specialists and experts in relevant fields
- Chief Executive Officer – Appointed by the Prime Minister for a fixed tenure of the rank of Secretary
Specialized Wings of NITI Aayog
- Research Wing – Its aim is to develop in-house sectoral expertise so as make it a think tank with specialized and expert knowledge.
- Consultancy Wing – Its aim is to provide a marketplace of expertise and provide necessary funding wherever required.
- Team India Wing – It comprises of the representatives of every State and Ministry. Its aim, to serve as a platform for national collaboration.
Objectives of NITI Aayog
- Enhancing cooperative federalism with active support and involvement of states.
- Bringing deprived and marginal sections of society into mainstream economic and social activities for the overall development of the country.
- Formulation of village-level plans and their aggregation at higher levels of the government.
- Creates a mechanism which can provide innovative solutions.
- Formulation of economic policy which can incorporate national security interests.
- Creation of a knowledge database with innovation and entrepreneurial support system.
- Creating a Sate-of-the-Art resource centre which can provide research on good governance.
- Technology upgradation at regular intervals and capacity building.
- To give act and advise like a think tank on national and international issues.
- To provide better inter-ministry cooperation and coordination for taking urgent policy decisions.
- To help in resolving inter-departmental and inter-sectoral issues so as to focus more on the development agenda.
- Suggest strategic and long-term policy initiatives and review their progress from time to time.
Aim of NITI Aayog
- To make a shift in the paradigm in which government is thought to be a ‘provider of first and last resort’ to that of an ‘enabler’.
- Eliminate poverty and provide every Indian with a dignified and respectful life.
- Educate and train the young population of this country and make them a useful human resource.
- Integration of village-level institutions into the developmental process of the country.
- To provide all possible policy support to small and medium enterprises so as to create new employment opportunities.
- Keep our environment and ecology safe and usable for the next generation.
Pillars of Effective Governance
NITI Aayog’s vision is based on the seven pillars of effective Governance. They are:
- Pro-people: It aims to keep and fulfil the aspirations of every individual of the society
- Pro-active: Every concern of the citizen to be solved pro-actively.
- Participation: It wants to involve every stratum of society.
- Empowering: Empowering lower and marginalized section of society including women in all aspects
- Inclusion of all: All needs to be cares and includes irrespective of caste, creed, and gender.
- Equality: Providing equal opportunity for all.
- Transparency: Make every department responsive and transparent.
- NITI Aayog functions in close cooperation and coordination with the States and other Ministries for effective planning and execution of assigned tasks. This needs to be effectively implemented, and close coordination is always taken into consideration while making plans in future.
- NITI Aayog makes recommendations on various issues to the Central and State Governments. The Central and State governments need to give priority in the implementation of the reports submitted by the NITI Aayog.
- A more decentralized approach of planning is required within the five-year plan formate.
- While suggesting the reforms, NITI Aayog should also spell the required strategy for implementation of those reforms.
- NITI Aayog should act as an agent of change and support the government’s agenda of overall development of the country.
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