NITI Aayog

Topics Covered

  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Relevance of NITI Aayog
  • Objectives Of NITI Aayog
  • Composition Of NITI Aayog
  • 7 Pillars Of Effective Governance Envisaged By NITI Aayog
  • NITI Aayog Hubs
  • Performance of NITI Aayog
  • Conclusion

Introduction

  • The centre-to-state one-way flow of policy, that was the hallmark of the Planning Commission era, is now sought to be replaced by a genuine and continuing partnership of states.
  • Better inter-ministry coordination.
  • NITI Aayog = more a “think tank” than a finance distributing agency.
  • With NITI Aayog, there will be multi-directional flow of policy (from Center to States, from States to Center, between ministries etc.)
  • NITI Aayog will provide Governments at the central and state levels with relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of the policy.
  • The NITI Aayog will create a knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurial support system through a collaborative community of national and international experts.
  • The NITI Aayog will develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans to the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of government.
  • Its important initiatives include “15 year road map”, “7-year vision, strategy and action plan”, AMRUT, Digital India and Atal Innovation Mission.

Background

  • Planning has been in Indian psyche as our leaders came under influence of the socialist clime of erstwhile USSR. Planning commission served as the planning vehicle for close to six decades with a focus on control and command approach.
  • Planning Commission was replaced by a new institution – NITI AAYYOG on January 1, 2015 with emphasis on ‘Bottom –Up’ approach to envisage the vision of Maximum Governance, Minimum Government, echoing the spirit of ‘Cooperative Federalism’.

Relevance of NITI Aayog

  • Competitive Federalism: Various reports of NITI Aayog like Healthy states Progressive India etc which give performance-based rankings of States across various verticals to foster a spirit of competitive federalism. It helps to identify the best practices in different States in various sectors and then try to replicate them in other States.
  • Cooperative federalism: Due to composition of NITI Aayog, it gives better representation of states in this body which facilitate direct interactions with the line ministries, also helps to address issues in a relatively shorter time.
  • Greater Accountability: NITI Aayog has established a Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office which collects data on the performance of various Ministries on a real-time basis. The data are then used at the highest policymaking levels to establish accountability and improve performance. Earlier, India had 12 Five-Year Plans, but they were mostly evaluated long after the plan period had ended. Hence, there was no real accountability.
  • Think tank of innovative ideas: NITI Aayog is visualised as a funnel through which new and innovative ideas come from all possible sources — industry, academia, civil society or foreign specialists — and flow into the government system for implementation. By collecting fresh ideas and sharing them with the Central and State governments, it allows states to progress with these new ideas. Hence it helps in improving governance and implementing innovative measures for better delivery of public services.
  • Convergence for resolution: Being a common point for similar issues faced by different sectors, states etc., it acts as a convergence point and platform to discuss these issues.

Objectives of NITI Aayog

  • To promote cooperative federalism through well-ordered support initiatives and mechanisms with the States on an uninterrupted basis.
  • The active participation of States in the light of national objectives and to provide a framework ‘national agenda’.
  • To grant advice and encourage partnerships between important stakeholders and national- international Think Tanks, as well as educational and policy research institutions.
  • To construct methods to formulate a reliable strategy at the village level and aggregate these gradually at higher levels of government.
  • To pay special consideration to the sections of the society that may be at risk of not profiting satisfactorily from economic progress.
  • Economic policy that incorporates national security interests.
  • To generate a knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurial support system through a shared community of national and international experts, etc.
  • To propose strategic and long-term policy and programme frameworks and initiatives, and review their progress and their effectiveness.
  • To pay attention to technology improvement and capacity building for the discharge of programs and initiatives.
  • To preserve a state-of-the-art Resource Centre, be a repository of research on good governance and best practices in sustainable and equitable development as well as help their distribution to participants.
  • To provide a platform for resolution of inter-sectoral and inter-departmental issues in order to speed up the accomplishment of the progress agenda.
  • To undertake other necessary activities in order to the implementation of the national development agenda, and the objectives.
  • To effectively screen and assess the implementation of programmes and initiatives, including the identification of the needed resources to strengthen the likelihood of success.

Composition

  • Chairperson: Prime Minister
  • Vice-Chairperson: To be appointed by Prime-Minister
  • Governing Council: Chief Ministers of all states and Lt. Governors of Union Territories.
  • Regional Council: To address specific regional issues, Comprising Chief Ministers and Lt. Governors Chaired by Prime Minister or his nominee.
  • Adhoc Membership: 2 member in ex-officio capacity from leading Research institutions on rotational basis.
  • Ex-Officio membership: Maximum four from Union council of ministers to be nominated by Prime minister.
  • Chief Executive Officer: Appointed by Prime-minister for a fixed tenure, in rank of Secretary to Government of India.
  • Special Invitees: Experts, Specialists with domain knowledge nominated by Prime-minister.

7 Pillars Of Effective Governance Envisaged By NITI Aayog

The NITI Aayog is based on the 7 pillars of effective Governance. They are:

  1. Pro-people: it fulfills the aspirations of society as well as individuals
  2. Pro-activity: in anticipation of and response to citizen needs
  3. Participation: involvement of citizenry
  4. Empowering: Empowering, especially women in all aspects
  5. Inclusion of all: inclusion of all people irrespective of caste, creed, and gender
  6. Equality: Providing equal opportunity to all especially for youth
  7. Transparency: Making the government visible and responsive

NITI Aayog Hubs

  • Team India Hub acts as interface between States and Centre.
  • Knowledge and Innovation Hub builds the think-tank acumen of NITI Aayog.
  • The Aayog planned to come out with three documents — 3-year action agenda, 7-year medium-term strategy paper and 15-year vision document.

NITI Aayog specialized Wings

  • Research Wing – that will develop in-house sectoral expertise as a dedicated think tank of top domain experts, specialists and scholars.
  • Consultancy Wing – that will provide a marketplace of whetted panels of expertise and funding for Central and State Governments to tap into; matching their requirements with solution providers, public and private, national and international. By playing matchmaker instead of providing the entire service itself, NITI Aayog will be able to focus its resources on priority matters, providing guidance and an overall quality check to the rest.
  • Team India Wing  – comprising representatives from every State and Ministry, will serve as a permanent platform for national collaboration.

Performance of NITI Aayog

  • Launching of various initiatives and programmes
    • Measuring performance and ranking States on outcomes in critical sectors o Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital (SATH)
    • Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat
    • Development Support Services to States (DSSS) for Development of Infrastructure
    • Public-Private Partnership in Health
    • Resolution of pending issues of States with Central Ministries
    • ‘Aspirational District Programme (ADP)’: to realise the vision of ‘SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas’, and ensure that India’s growth process remains inclusive
  • Enabling evidence-based policy making and enhancing productive efficiency with long-term vision
    • Three Year National Action Agenda and the Strategy for New India @75 which allows better alignment of the development strategy with the changed reality of India.
    • Reform of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs)
    • Balanced Regional Development
      • Development support to the North East
      • NITI Forum for North East
    • Health & Nutrition Sector Reforms
      • Launch of the POSHAN Abhiyaan
      • Evolving the National Nutrition Strategy
      • Pushing Reforms in Pharmaceuticals Sector
    • In energy sector
      • NITI has prepared and launched a report on ‘India’s Renewable Electricity Roadmap 2030.’
      • Roadmap for revising the National Mineral Policy, 2018
    • Partnerships with National and International Organisations and Promote Stakeholder Consultation in Policy Making
    • Promote entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem
      • Atal Innovation Mission, which established Atal Tinkering Labs in India, has already done commendable work in improving the innovation ecosystem in India.
      • Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017: Women First: Prosperity for All
      • Women Entrepreneurship Platform
    • Promoting adoption of frontier technology like Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, Methanol economy etc

Conclusion

  • NITI Aayog will function in close cooperation, consultation and coordination with the Ministries of the Central Government and State governments.
  • While it will make recommendations to the Central and State Governments, the responsibility for taking and implementing decisions will rest with them.
  • NITI Aayog will seek to facilitate and empower the critical requirement of good governance – which is people-centric, participative, collaborative, transparent and policy-driven. It will provide critical directional and strategic input to the development process, focussing on deliverables and outcomes.
  • This, along with being as incubator and disseminator of fresh thought and ideas for development, will be the core mission of NITI Aayog.