National Institution for Transforming India, also called NITI Aayog replaced Planning Commission which was instituted in 1950. NlTI Aayog was formed via a resolution of union cabinet on January 1, 2015. This was done to serve the needs and aspirations of the people of India in an efficient way. Narendra Modi is the chairperson of NITI Aayog and Amitabh Kant is the chief executive officer of NITI Aayog and Headquarters of NITI Aayog is in New Delhi.
What Is NITI Aayog?
NITI Aayog is the policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India, providing both directional and policy inputs. While designing strategic and long-term policies and programmes for the Government of India, NITI Aayog also provides relevant technical advice to the Centre and States. NITI Aayog was established with the aim to achieve sustainable development and to enhance cooperative federalism, fostering by involving state government in the economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach.
Why Planning Commission was replaced?
The main reason behind removing this 65-year-old planning commission was stifling growth and bureaucracy and they were many other reasons which lead to the replacement of this commission are as follows-
- Planning Commission imposed a five-year plan and allocated resources to meet economic targets whereas NITI Aayog is more like a think tank where innovations happen to get the desired economic target.
- NITI Aayog promotes cooperative federalism and therefore giving the power to the state government to get involved in making economic policies
- NITI Aayog has a bottom-up approach whereas the planning commission had an up-bottom approach.
The objective of NITI Aayog
‘To evolve a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active involvement of states in light of national objectives.’ This is the objective of NITI Aayog but the guiding principle behind this is a pro-people, pro-active and participative development agenda.
Setup of NITI Aayog
At the core of NITI Aayog’s creation are two hubs – Team India Hub and the Knowledge and Innovation Hub. The Team India Hub leads the engagement of states with the Central government, while the Knowledge and Innovation Hub builds NITI’s think-tank capabilities.
What Will NITI Aayog do?
- Seek to provide critical directional and strategic input into the government process
- Develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans at village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of government
- Ensure, on areas that are specifically referred to it, that the interests of national security incorporated in economic strategy and policy
- Pay special attention to the sections of the society that may its risk of not benefiting adequately from economic progress
Initiatives under NITI Aayog
- Vision Document, Strategy & Action Agenda beyond 12thFive Year Plan: Replacing the Five Year Plan, NITI Aayog is in the process of preparing the 15-year vision document keeping in view the social goals set; A 7-year strategy document spanning 2017-18 to 2023-24 to convert the longer-term vision into implementable policy and action as a part of a “National Development Agenda” is also being worked upon.
- Reforming Medical Education-A committee chaired by Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog recommended scrapping of the Medical Council of India and suggested a new body for regulating medical education. The draft legislation for the proposed National Medical Commission has been submitted to the Government for further necessary action. They are many other initiatives under NITI Aayog which you can read, the link of which will be mentioned in the sources
Is NITI Aayog Relevant?
The relevance of NITI Aayog will vary from person to person based on their own understanding and their mindset. For me, it is highly relevant as it is introducing new ideas and bringing a greater level of accountability in the economic system of the country. The reason behind this is that NITI Aayog acts as a think tank and its innovative ideas come from wide range of sources- academia, industries, civil society, foreign specialist and these innovative ideas goes to the government for implementation. There are various initiatives taken by NITI Aayog. Some of the innovative ideas were Ayushman Bharat, approach towards artificial intelligence, water conservation measures, and draft a bill to establish National Medical Commission to replace Medical Council of India these were few measures which were conceptualised by NITI Aayog.
I think NITI Aayog is not only a think tank but also an action tank as it collects new ideas and shares them with the central and state government. NITI Aayog convergence with various ministries and central and state government helps to put an agenda forward easily. NITI Aayog has also brought a greater level of accountability in the system whereas earlier there was no accountability. NITI Aayog also tracks the performance of various ministries. Hence making NITI Aayog a very important and relevant institution.
NITI Aayog is a very important institution for country economic and overall development but there are also few flaws which need to be done to make NITI Aayog a stronger organization as compared to the present NITI Aayog. One such Thing that’s need to be corrected is that its accountability should be on the outcome achieved and not on the inputs or funds spent but that said it is still better than what we had a few years back.
By – Naveen Singh Yaduvanshi
(Government Law College, Mumbai)
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