Union Government formed NITI Aayog to replace Planning Commission

Jan 2, 2015 15:15 IST

Union Government on 1 January 2015 set up the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog. NITI Aayog that replaced the 65 year old Planning Commission will be headed by Prime Minister. It will have a governing council comprising Chief Ministers of all the states and Lt. Governors of Union Territories.

Apart from this, the NITI Aayog will also have a Vice-Chairperson and a Chief Executive Officer (fixed tenure, in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India), who will be appointed by the Prime Minister.

The NITI Aayog’s functions have been described as the Bharatiya approach to development. The Aayog has been tasked with a role of formulating policies and direction for the government and serving as a think-tank, it will provide a national agenda for Prime Minister and Chief Ministers. It will also provide relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy, like economic matters of national and international importance.

NITI Aayog

Functions that will be undertaken by the NITI Aayog
• It will develop mechanisms for formulation of credible plans to the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of government
• Special attention will be given to the sections of the society that may be at risk of not benefitting adequately from economic progress
• It will also create a knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurial support system through a collaborative community of national and international experts, practitioners and partners
• It will offer a platform for resolution of inter-sectoral and inter-departmental issues in order to accelerate the implementation of the development agenda
• It will also monitor and evaluate the implementation of programmes, and focus on technology upgradation and capacity building.

Other members of the NITI Aayog will be

Experts, specialists and practitioners with relevant domain knowledge as special invitees nominated by the Prime Minister
• Members - Full-time
• Part-time members: Maximum of 2 from leading universities research organizations and other relevant institutions in an ex-officio capacity.  Part time members will be on a rotational basis.
• Ex Officio members: Maximum of 4 members of the Union Council of Ministers to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
• Secretariat as deemed necessary

Difference between the NITI Aayog and Planning Commission

Under the Planning Commission centre-to-state one-way flow of policy existed, whereas, the NITI Aayog has planned a genuine and continuing partnership of states. Now, state governments can play an active role in achieving national objectives, as they have been empowered to provide with strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of policymaking.

Background
National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has been created in accordance to the announcement made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 August 2014. On the Independence Day, he announced that the government will replace the Planning Commission which was established on 15 March 1950 through a Cabinet Resolution. Further to revamp the Planning Commission, the Prime Minister met with Chief Ministers and Governors of various States on 7 December 2014 and discussed their opinions on the same to separate the process of governance from the strategy of governance.

Comment
In case of Delhi and Puducherry, the elected chief ministers will not be members of the new NITI Aayog. The Article 239 of the Constitution of India defines both Delhi and Puducherry as Union Territories and therefore, their administrators, lieutenant governors will be members of the panel.

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