– National Institution for Transforming India
The National Institution for Transforming India, also called NITI Aayog, was formed via 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 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.
Objectives of Niti Aayog
- Active involvement of States in development process and to foster cooperative federalism
- Developing plans at village level and paying attention to the section which are not benefiting from the economic progress.
- Preparing policy and plans for long term goals, monitoring them, collecting feedback, making improvements time to time from the feedback.
- Collaboration of National and International think tanks and different departments to provide advice.
- Developing Economic policy which also helps in National Security.
- Resolving different inter-sectoral and inter-departmental issues for faster execution of plans.
- Up gradation of technologies and capacity building.
- NITI Aaayog is based on the 7 pillars of effective governance – (1) Pro-People (2) Pro-Activity (3) Participation (4) Empowering (5) Inclusion of all (6) Equality (7) Transparency.
Composition of NITI Aayog
- Chairperson: Prime Minister of India
- Governing Council: Comprising the Chief Ministers of all States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories.
- Regional Councils: Will be formed to address specific issues and contingencies impacting more than one state or region.
Strategy and Planning in the NITI Aayog will be anchored from State-level. Regional Councils will be convened by the Prime Minister for identified priority domains, put under the joint leadership of related sub-groups of States (grouped around commonalities which could be geographic, economic, social or otherwise) and Central Ministries.
- Have specified tenures, with the mandate to evolve a strategy and oversee implementation.
- Be jointly headed by one of the groups Chief Ministers (on a rotational basis or otherwise) and a corresponding Central Minister.
- Include the sectoral Central Ministers and Secretaries concerned, as well as State Ministers and Secretaries. It will be linked to corresponding domain experts and academic institutions.
- Have a dedicated support cell in the NITI Aayog Secretariat.
- States would thus be empowered to drive the national agenda. As a consequence, deliberation would be more grass-roots informed, and recommendations would have more ownership, given their joint formulation.
- Special Invitees: experts, specialists and practitioners with relevant domain knowledge as special invitees nominated by the Prime Minister.
Full-time Organisational Framework:
Will comprise of, in addition to the Prime Minister as the Chairperson:
- Vice-Chairperson: to be appointed by the Prime Minister.
- Members: full-time: specialists with international exposure.
- 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.
- Chief Executive Officer: to be appointed by the Prime Minister for a fixed tenure, in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.
- Secretariat: as deemed necessary.
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.
Difference between NITI Aayog and Planning Commission
- Planning Commission – Had deputy chairperson, a member secretary, and full-time members. Secretaries or member secretaries appointed by the usual process.
- NITI Aayog – New posts of CEO of secretary rank, and Vice-Chairperson. Will also have five full-time members and two part-time members. Four cabinet ministers will serve as ex-officio members. CEO is appointed directly by Prime Minister.
- Planning commission goes for top-down planning for government with public sector resources.
- NITI ayog formulate national development strategy in a market economy integrated with the globalized world.
Relation with states
- The planning commission was a central government institution and no representation of state government. There was no structural mechanism for interaction with states.
- NITI ayog provides a partnership with state governments to promote co-operative federalism. It provides a platform for structured and regular interaction with states.
- The role of Finance Commission was greatly reduced with the formation of Planning Commission. Allocation of funds were decided by the Planning Commission.
- NITI ayog don’t any role in fund allocation. Finance ministry to decide the share of taxes to states, fund allocation to CSS and Union assistance to the state plan.
Constitution and Reporting
- Planning Commission- The commission reported to National Development Council that had State Chief Ministers and Lieutenant governors.
- Niti Aayog – Governing Council has State Chief Ministers and Lieutenant Governors.