Planning Commission Of India – Functions, Composition, Members

By Balaji

Updated on: February 17th, 2023

The planning commission was a noteworthy feature of governance and policymaking in India. It is no longer functioning as the NITI Aayog superseded it. The planning commission of India earlier had the authority to distribute budgets to the Government for executing numerous programs at the state and national levels. The planning commission had a format similar to a federal association but had no representation from the state Government.

Planning Commission was used to restrict the interaction between the Commission and the Government of the state. The Commission emphasizes optimizing resources by using the scarce and limited resources already available in our provinces. In this article, read what is planning commission of India is, its composition, its members, and its overall functions.

Table of content

  • 1. What is Planning Commission? (more)
  • 2. History of Planning Commission of India (more)
  • 3. Function of Planning Commission (more)
  • 4. Composition of Planning Commission (more)
  • 5. List of Important Members of Planning Commission (more)
  • 6. Dissolution of Planning Commission (more)
  • 7. Planning Commission of India UPSC Notes (more)

What is Planning Commission?

The first planning commission was launched on 15th March 1950, directly after the implementation of the Indian Constitution. The commission created five-year plans at the federal level and had the command to impose state guidelines. The planning commission of India had no provision to designate part-time members and comprised only full-time associates.

  • The Planning Commission reports straight to the Prime Minister of India.
  • The first Chairman of the National Planning Commission was Pandit Nehru.
  • The origin of the Commission was not from the Constitution or law, but it was a branch of the Union/Central Government.
  • The government’s primary objectives were to push for a prompt expansion to the standards of living of Indians by effectively exploiting the country’s assets.
  • The Commission was authorized to assess the nation’s resources, enhance inadequate resources, compose strategies for the effective and proportional use of resources, and establish priorities.
  • Two successive drought years, a general cost hike, rupee depreciation, and a shortage of resources throw off the planning process.
  • For the first 8 Plans emphasized raising the public sector with immense funding in the big and fundamental industrial sectors.
  • The ultimate reason behind the planning commission was to make the nation economically self-sufficient and generate revenue from all the service sectors.

History of Planning Commission of India

It collaborated with the Indian Government, which originated the country’s Five-Year Plans and other operations. The Planning Commission of India was tasked with serving all occupations’ prospects for the community’s benefit.


Planning Commission- Sequence of Events

15 March 1950

Planning commission was established, and Jawaharlal Nehru (Prime Minister of India) was the chairman.


Undertaking of the Five-year Plan.


Successive Five-year agendas were framed (a time gap emerged because of the battle with Pakistan).

1966 – 1969

Annual Plans


Initiation of the 4th Five-year plan.


The 8th Plan did not enforce due to political conditions varying and fluctuations at the Centre.

1990-91 and 1991-92

Accepted Annual Plans.


The 8th Plan was started after the government started the financial liberalization policies.


Inaugurating of the 9th Plan (The priority moved from hefty industries to the fact that there should be indicative planning).


Narendra Modi government decided to tail off the Planning Commission of India.

Function of Planning Commission

The resolution of 1950 establishing the Commission outlined the role of planning commission in India. The function of planning commission have been highlighted here in detail-

  • Making such temporary proposals either for allowing the release of the responsibilities allotted or on a reference of the existing monetary situations, current policies, benchmarks, and growth program or on an analysis of specific difficulties from which the State or Central Governments can take reference.
  • Routinely evaluate the improvement acquired in the undertaking of all phases of the Plan along with offering suggestions of approach that inspection may consider necessary;
  • Specify the type of machinery needed for getting the flourishing performance of each step of the Plan.
  • Identify the elements that hinder economic expansion, and show the necessities which should be instituted for achieving enactment of the Plan.
  • Describe the phases where the scheme should be enforced and put forward the allotment of resources for the fulfillment of every stage.
  • Prepare a plan for the most balanced and effective use of the national resources.
  • Evaluate the country’s money, material, and human resources, including studying the chances of improving these resources for making up the nation.

Composition of Planning Commission

The Planning Commission chairman was the Prime Minister, who operated under the recommendation of the National Development Council. The full-time associates or members and Deputy Chairman functioned as a combined body by providing suggestions and advice to the units for setting Annual Plans, Schemes, Observing Plan Programmes, State Plans, Five Year Plans, and Projects.

List of Important Members of Planning Commission

The members of the district planning commission comprised the Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Ex-officio members, and Part-time members. The table below elaborates on the details of the members of planning commission.

Members of Planning Commission


Ex-officio members

Included Planning Minister and Finance Minister.

Part-time members

Constituted few central ministers.


The Prime Minister supervised the Commission sessions.

Deputy Chairman

Full-time operational head (De facto administrative head)

The Deputy Chairman of the planning commission of India had the listed roles and responsibilities:

  • He was accountable to the Central cabinet for preparing and submitting the enlist Five-Year Plan.
  • He was selected for a set tenure by the cabinet of center and adored the cabinet minister position.
  • He could participate in gatherings of the cabinet without the freedom to vote.

Dissolution of Planning Commission

The Planning Commission of India had a crucial role in emerging India as an autonomous nation having developmental ambitious objectives from a so-called conquered country. But, the main reason for the dissolution of planning commission was believed to be that it suppressed financial growth by being a soviet-styled bureaucratic body.


Phases of Planning Commission Dissolution


The commission accepted criticism for renovating two toilets at an expenditure of almost Rs.35 lakhs.

It was recommended that the nation’s residents were not poor as they paid more than Rs.27 daily.


The planning commission was finally replaced by a stronger organization, NITI Aayog, which operated with stakeholders for the country’s development.

Planning Commission of India UPSC Notes

Candidates can briefly learn about the Planning Commission, its objectives, composition, list of members, and overall functions for the UPSC civil services exam. Also, UPSC-preparing aspirants can read about the vital Difference Between NITI Aayog and Planning Commission to understand the two programs launched by the Indian Government.

Candidates must thoroughly revise Planning Commission UPSC questions as they can be asked in the Prelims or Mains section of the UPSC exam. Aspirants should be well-versed in the Planning Commission of India topic for the IAS exam as it is an integral part of the syllabus. For more information, aspirants can also check out the Economic Planning in India, adopted by the Government for the effective utilization of resources in the nation.

Important Notes for UPSC
Buddhist Council Indian National Army
Composition of Atmosphere Largest Solar Power Plant in India
Difference Between Jainism and Buddhism Indian Geography
Koppen Climate Classification Kalinga War
Ecotone Indian National Movement
Our Apps Playstore
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium