The National Institution for Transforming India, also known as the NITI Aayog, was formed by a resolution of the Union Cabinet on January 1, 2015. NITI Aayog is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India, providing both directional and policy inputs. While formulating strategic and long-term policies and programmes for the Government of India, NITI Aayog also provides significant technical advice to both Centre and the States.
The Government of India (GoI), in keeping with its reform agenda, formed the NITI Aayog by replacing the Planning Commission which was instituted in 1950. This replacement was done in order to better serve the needs and aspirations of the people of India. An important evolutionary change from the past, NITI Aayog acts as the quintessential platform of the Government of India to bring States to act together in national interest, and thereby fosters Cooperative Federalism.
Significant Achievements of NITI Aayog over the last three years
Vision Document, Strategy & Action Agenda beyond 12th Five Year Plan
• Replacing the Five Year Plans (FYP) beyond 31st March 2017, the NITI Aayog is in the route of preparing the fifteen-year vision document keeping in view the social goals set and/ or proposed for a period of 15 years.
• The government has a plan to formulate a seven-year strategy document spanning 2017-18 to 2023-24 to convert the long-term vision into implementable policy and action as a part of a “National Development Agenda” is also being worked upon.
• The government has a plan a three-year Action Agenda for 2017-18 to 2019-20, lined up to the predictability of financial resources during the 14th Finance Commission Award period, has been submitted to the Prime Minister on April 23rd at the 3rd Governing Council Meeting of NITI Aayog.
Reforms in Agriculture
1. Model Land Leasing Law
• Keeping in view of increasing incidents of leasing in and out of land and sub-optimal use of land with a lesser number of cultivators, NITI Aayog has formulated a Model Agricultural Land Leasing Act, 2016 to both recognise:
o the rights of the tenant
o safeguard the interest of the landowners.
• Under NITI Aayog, a dedicated cell for land reforms has also been set up.
• Based on the model act, the state like Madhya Pradesh has enacted separate land leasing law while the states like Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have modified their land leasing laws.
• Other states including Odisha, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, are already in progress and they are in the stage of formulating legislations to enact their land leasing laws for agriculture.
2. Reforms of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act
• The NITI Aayog has already consulted the states on 21 October 2016 on three critical reforms in the farm sector:
o Agricultural marketing reforms
o Felling and transit laws for tree produce grown on private land
o Agricultural land leasing
• Subsequently, the Model APMC Act version 2 has been prepared for which the states are being consulted to adopt APMC Act version 2 by the Centre.
3. Agricultural Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index
• In order to sensitise the states, NITI Aayog has developed the first ever ‘Agriculture Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index’ about the need to undertake reforms in the three specific areas of Agriculture Market Reforms, Land Lease Reforms and Forestry on Private Land (Felling and Transit of
• The considered index carries a score with a minimum value “0” implying no reforms required and maximum value “100” implying complete reforms in that particular areas.
• As per the Agriculture Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index, Maharashtra topped in the implementation of various agricultural reforms Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
• The state of Maharashtra has implemented most of the marketing reforms and offers the best environment practice for undertaking agri-business among all the States and UTs.
• The Gujarat with a score of 71.50 out of 100 ranks second which is closely followed by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
• Almost two third states in the country have not been able to reach even the halfway mark of reforms score during the year 2016-17.
• The Agriculture Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index aims to encourage a healthy competition between states and percolate best practices in implementing farmer-friendly reforms.
Reforming Medical Education
• A committee chaired by Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog suggested scrapping of the Medical Council of India (MCI) and also recommended a new body for regulating medical education.
• The draft legislation for the proposed National Medical Commission the committee has already been submitted to the Government for further necessary action.
It is a good sign for the country that NITI Aayog is moulding itself as a State of the Art Resource Centre, with the necessary resources, knowledge and skills, which will facilitate it to act with greater speed, promote research and innovation, prepare strategic policy vision for the government and deal with contingent issues. The reforms undertaken by the NITI Aayog are completely inevitable and which should be a primary objective of the Government to implement effectively.
Other part of the NITI Aayog’s achievement we will discuss in some later article which will help IAS aspirants a lot during IAS preparation.
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